Babri Masjid: Special court acquits all accused BJP leaders in mosque demolition

Babri Masjid: Special court acquits all accused BJP leaders in mosque demolition - We The World
Archival images of the Babri Masjid being torn down by karsevaks in December 6th, 1992 (Image courtesy of Sondeep Shankar for The Wire, via Twitter)

Babri Masjid: A special court of India that presided over the contentious and controversial demolition of a Mughal-era mosque by a Hindu mob takes a new turn after the ruling acquitted all the accused BJP leaders who were allegedly involved in the violence of 1992.

The special CBI court ruled out that the mosque demolition was not pre-planned and there is not enough evidence to establish the controversies and allegations associated with the incident. The incident happened at the spur of the moment, the court said.

The court even stated the accused BJP veterans were trying to save the Barbri Masjid from demolition but the evidence was tampered with. The court case is reportedly 2300-pages long, India Today reported.

The ruling comes after BJP Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur said last year: “Yes, I had gone there (Ayodhya), I had said it y’day too, not denying it. I had demolished the structure. I will go there & help in the construction of Ram temple, nobody can stop us from doing that, Ram rashtra hain, rashtra Ram hain,” news agency ANI quoted the politician as saying.

A 1992 Times of India copy announcing the demolition of Babri Masjid (Image courtesy of @shak__eel via Twitter)

Hindu priests were conducting ‘havan pujan’ while the court was passing its judgment.

Responding to a Journalist’s question if Lord Ram heard their pleas, one of the priests backed that when the Supreme Court ruled the land belonged to Hindus last year, it proved the original temple was demolished to make Babri Masjid.

Laddus (Indian sweets) made of desi ghee (clarified butter) is coming soon and will be distributed across Ayodhya, the priest told reporters. Ayodhya is claimed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama and where the Babri Masjid stood.

In 1992, the Mughal-era monument was shattered and brought to the grounds by kar sevaks or mobs who offer free service for a religious cause.

All the 49 acquitted, including veteran BJP leaders MM Joshi (now 86), Uma Bharti, and former deputy prime minister LK Advani (now 92) as well as late prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who all denied influence in the 1992 incident were acquitted.

Some 2000 Muslims were killed in one of India’s most controversial religious public outcry and the BBC noted, the incident made a fertile ground for the political rise of the Hindu far-right, of whose flagbearer is BJP – the federal ruling party.

Observers of this three-decade-long political and religious turmoil noted the verdict is unlikely to fix any contention and rather will further incite marginalization of India’s 200-million Muslim minority community.

The court ruling also comes after a landmark judgment by the Indian supreme court which gave the disputed land of the Masjid to Hindus while retaining an alternative land for the Muslims.

Babri Masjid, built in the 1528–29 by the orders of Mughal Emperor of India Babur as per the Mosque’s inscriptions was bought down by Hindu kar sevaks over allegations that the original builder of the mosque demolished a pre-existing temple of Lord Rama to enact the structure.

In August this year, ending decades-long battle over the contentious land, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for building a mammoth Hindu temple project amounting hundreds of millions – a promise BJP had publicized, at the same time a highly symbolic win of the party’s Hindu nationalist stance.

As per BBC witness, in 1992, an estimated 150,000 Hindu mobs, mainly young men armed with axes, shovels, and hammers charged the structure, climbed it, and began demolishing.

Journalists covering the action were attacked allegedly to erase any hard evidence of the act.

Hindu-Muslim riots soon broke out across India, with hundreds of people killed during the violent outbreak. The west Indian state of Mumbai saw the worst where 900 people were killed.

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