In a judgment, a special court in Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all the 32 accused in Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid demolition on 6 December, 1992.
BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were all acquitted of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict that has evoked strong reactions across the country.
The court ruled that the demolition was not planned and involved “anti-social elements”.
The decision to acquit all the accused is strange considering the fact that even the Supreme Court, during its judgment, had ruled that the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the 1949 desecration of the Babri Masjid was in violation of the law of the land.
It is a well-known fact that the mosque demolition was preceded by a series of ‘rath yatras’ by LK Advani, whose campaign for a Ram temple at the site catapulted the BJP to the national spotlight. LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh who are among the 32 surviving accused, were allegedly present near the mosque. Investigating agencies had said they delivered speeches that instigated the crowds.
If the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a violation of the law of the land, the big question is: Why is no one being held responsible for breaking the law?
The judgment of the Lucknow court is a big setback and will further alienate the Muslim community. They were already feeling hurt by the decision of the SC to hand over the disputed site for construction of Ram temple.
If all the people, who were accused of being involved in the demolition of the Babri Masjid, are innocent, then the court should tell the nation who is responsible for its demolition. It is certain that the Masjid did not come down on its own. There are video and photographic evidence showing the involvement of people.
Today’s verdict is another attack on secular credentials of India. Only time will tell whether the country will ever emerge from this vicious attack on the secular fabric of India.