Top BJP leaders to face trial for mosque demolition

April 19, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, April 19, 2017: The Supreme Court on April 19 ruled that some senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party will face criminal conspiracy charges for the demolition of an ancient mosque some 25 years ago.

The apex court has directed the sessions judge in Lucknow to conduct the trial in the Babri demolition case on a daily basis, and that the judge will not be transferred. It also ruled out a fresh trial in the case.

Those facing the charges are Lal Krishna Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, all former federal ministers. These leaders led a crowd of some 150,000 Hindu activists who on December 6, 1992, demolished the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, a town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Hindus consider Ayodhya as the birthplace of Lord Ram, the hero of the epic Ramayana. They also allege that Mir Baqi, a general of Mughal emperor Babar, built the mosque over a temple marking Ram’s birthplace.

Joshi was the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP, world Hindu council) that in the 1980s campaigned for the construction of a temple dedicated to Rama at the site, with BJP as its political voice. Several rallies and marches were held as a part of this movement. Advani led a nationwide rally, including the Ram Rath Yatra, to drum up support for the temple.

The mosque demolition resulted in several months of riots between Hindu and Muslim communities in various parts of India, causing the death of at least 2,000 people.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to ensure that witnesses are produced in court everyday so that there is no delay in the Babri demolition case trial. The bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman set two years to complete the trials, reports The Indian Express.

However, the apex clarified that Kalyan Singh, being Governor of Rajasthan, will not be tried due to constitutional immunity unless he ceases to be in that post. In effect, his trial will begin after his term as governor ends.

Singh was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the demolition took place. Others who will face criminal conspiracy charges are Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal.

There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition. The first involved unnamed ‘karsevaks’ or volunteers and their trial currently goes on in a court in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh. The second set of cases relate to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court. With the latest order, both these cases are merged and will be heard in Lucknow.

The order comes after the CBI had petitioned the apex court saying 14 people, including the BJP leaders, who had been acquitted of the charges under criminal conspiracy, should be tried in the Lucknow Court. On April 6, the last hearing, the Supreme Court had reserved its order.

Reacting to the development, Congress spokesperson Salman Soz said Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh should resign and uphold the sanctity of their posts.

BJP, however, said it will first study the court order and only then issue a statement. “We can’t say anything, will first study the court order,” party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told News 18.

Party MP Vinay Katiyar, however, says the charges against BJP leaders are baseless. “Why should leaders like Uma Bharti resign from Union Minister position, these all are baseless charges,” News 18 quoted him as saying. Supreme Court has given the verdict. Party would study the verdict in detail, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

NDA ally Shiv Sena, however, has called for the chargesheet to be recalled.

“The government should withdraw the chargesheet. How can (they) on one hand you do this and then talk of building Ram Mandir?” party leader Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI.

– matters india

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!