All 32 accused in Ayodhya's Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992 were acquitted today as an Uttar Pradesh court ruled the demolition was not planned and involved "anti-social elements". BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were all acquitted of conspiracy charges in a landmark verdict today that has evoked strong reactions across the country.
A trending hashtag on Twitter has been "No one demolished Babri" reminiscent of "No one killed Jessica" a Hindi film about the high-profile murder case of model Jessica Lal in 1999 where a court had earlier acquitted her murderer.
Several politicians, even actors, tweeted about the verdict that came after 28-year wait.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel called the verdict "shocking" and tweeted:
The Babri verdict is shocking, it goes contrary to principles of natural justice & even the SC's observation— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) September 30, 2020
Calling it a "complete travesty of justice", Left leader Sitaram Yechury recalled how a Constitution bench headed by the then Chief Justice had called the demolition "an egregious violation of law".
"A complete travesty of Justice. All charged with criminal conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid acquitted. It self imploded? The Constitution Bench headed by then CJI had said that demolition was an "egregious" violation of law. Now this verdict! Shame," Mr Yechury tweeted.
Actor Swara Bhasker tweeted in Hindi saying, "The Babri Masjid fell on its own."
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani shared a photo of two magazines, then and last year, about the Babri Masjid and tweeted: "1992 and 2019... And in 2020: today, actually no one demolished #BabriMasjid. Like Kapil Mishra is in reality a great messenger of peace, Babri demolition and Rath Yatra was in reality just a fake news. All media stories before 2014 was fake news, only post-BJP media is truth (sic)."
Actor Richa Chaddha tweeted in Hindi: "There is a court above this place, where there is light and not darkness."
Various others also tweeted against the verdict.
No one demolished Babri Masjid. It crumbled under its own weight. Jai Ho.— RishiKesh Kumar (@rishikeshlaw) September 30, 2020
Babri Masjid magically fell by itself on 6th December '92. Nothing else happened. There was no rath yatra (that was followed by massacres wherever it passed), no hate speech and call to violence, no demolition, and hence no criminality.— Hasiba | حسيبة ???? (@HasibaAmin) September 30, 2020
Goodbye Rule of Law
So : NO ONE DEMOLISHED BABRI !!— Vinod Kapri (@vinodkapri) September 30, 2020
Over the last 28 years, the case has seen many turns. Two cases were filed in 1992, which eventually grew to 49. The second case, FIR no 198, had named Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Uma Bharti for promoting religious enmity and provoking rioting. Later, the Supreme Court asked that criminal conspiracy charges be restored against them.
The Supreme Court also called it "unlawful destruction" and said Muslims had been wrongly deprived of a mosque that was constructed well over 400 years ago.
"Anti-social elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people," said the special judge, whose term had been extended for this verdict.
The judge also said the audio and video evidence produced by the CBI did not establish conspiracy charges.