All 32 accused in the 28-year-old Babri demolition case, including BJP's founder-members LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, have been acquitted by a special CBI court in Lucknow .
The demolition of the mosque "was not pre-planned", Special Judge SK Yadav said today as he added the leaders accused in the demolition of the 16th century mosque had tried to stop the demolition by "anti-social elements". "Anti-social elements tried to demolish the structure and the accused tried to stop them," special CBI judge SK Yadav said.
"I wholeheartedly welcome the judgment by the special court. The judgment vindicates my personal and BJP's belief and commitment toward the Ram Janmabhoomi movement," veteran BJP leader LK Advani said, welcoming the verdict.
"The BJP's movement at that point was for support of Ram temple. We were keeping facts before the public. What we were doing at that point was only a people's movement. This controversy should end now. We should all make efforts for building the Ram temple now. My only message is: Jai Sri Ram!," Murli Manohar Joshi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti were among the six accused who were not present in the court; they watched via video link when the verdict was announced.
Several other BJP leaders called the verdict a victory of truth, shortly after the remarks by the special CBI court. The RSS, BJP's ideologial parent, also welcomed the verdict in a tweet.
"I welcome the decision of the special court in Lucknow that has acquitted 32 accused including LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and said they were not involved in any criminal conspiracy. This verdict is a victory for justice, even if late," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted in Hindi.
I was witness to the entire incident of 6th Dec. It was all spontaneous no conspiracy.I was conducting the meeting from dais I was surprised when some Kar Sewaks climbed Babri str.Advaniji was unhappy.सत्यमेव जयते ।#BabriDemolitionCase— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) September 30, 2020
"I was witness to the entire incident of 6th Dec. It was all spontaneous no conspiracy.I was conducting the meeting from dais I was surprised when some Kar Sewaks climbed Babri str. Advaniji was unhappy.(sic)," BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted.
The acquittal "was long overdue", BJP's Ram Madhav said, welcoming the verdict. "Victory triumphs. CBI court's acquittal in Babri conspiracy case was long overdue. A malicious case against some of the most respected leaders of our nation has fallen aside finally after 3 decades. Everyone should welcome d judgement (sic)," a tweet by Mr Madhav read.
Truth triumphs. CBI court's acquittal in Babri conspiracy case was long overdue. A malicious case against some of the most respected leaders of our nation has fallen aside finally after 3 decades. Everyone should welcome d judgement— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) September 30, 2020
Karnataka BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje tweeted: "TRUTH ALONE PREVAILS! All accused in #BabriMasjid demolition case acquitted by Special CBI Court in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. (sic)"
The mosque demolition was preceded by a series of Rath Yatras by LK Advani, whose Ram temple campaign catapulted the BJP to the national spotlight. Mr Advani, Mr Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, who are among the 32 surviving accused, were allegedly present on the stage near the mosque where politicians, religious leaders and temple campaigners had delivered speeches. The investigating agencies said they instigated the crowd with their speeches.
The 16th century mosque was razed by thousands of "Kar Sevaks" who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. The incident led to riots across the country, in which 3,000 died.