Ruling party faces setback in India's Babri Mosque case

Apex court restores criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders for involvement in destruction of mosque in 1992

Ruling party faces setback in India's Babri Mosque case

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Supreme Court has restored charges of criminal conspiracy against senior leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Babri Mosque demolition case, according to Indian media outlets.

The court on Wednesday allowed the appeal of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the dropping of charges against 12 senior BJP leaders, including former deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and current Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, and ruled that they will now stand trial in the case from 1992 that left thousands of people, mostly Muslims dead in communal riots.

However, Kalyan Singh will enjoy constitutional immunity as long as he serves as the Rajasthan state governor, the court ruled, according to the Times of India.

The court also called for day-to-day hearing of the case and ordered the trial should be concluded within two years.

Soon after the court verdict, Bharti in a press conference in the capital New Delhi rejected being part of any conspiracy.

“There is no question of it as everything was done openly,” she said, adding: “I am ready to be hanged. I want to give message that Ram temple should be built. I am going to Ayodhya today. Congress has no moral right to ask for my resignation," according to Times of India.

Law and Justice Minister Ravishankar Prasad, who is also a BJP member, said in New Delhi to reporters: “We will examine the judgement and take appropriate steps. Have not got full details right now. It’s not a setback for the party,” according to Times of India.

Meanwhile, the Babri Masjid (Mosque) Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani, who is also a lawyer for the petitioner, told newsmen after the verdict: “We are happy with the Supreme Court order. Hope justice will now be done for the crime of demolition.

"Most of the witnesses have recorded their statement, now the trial will gain pace. We hope that the Yogi Adityanath government plays no obstacle in the trial and cooperates with CBI in ensuring that witnesses are produced on time. All BJP leaders found guilty in the case should be punished,” according to Times of India.

Opposition Congress Party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told Anadolu Agency: "The Supreme Court has spoken. Let law of the land take its own course without fear or favour. Let justice be done and guilty punished." The party had also demanded the resignation of the water resources minister.

The dispute over the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque in the ancient city of Ayodhya in northern Uttar Pradesh state is a decades-old issue between Hindus and Muslims of India, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people over the years.

In December 1992, Hindus gathered at the disputed site and destroyed the 16th-century mosque named after the Mughal dynasty Emperor, Babur. The destruction prompted nationwide communal riots that left around 2,000 people dead.

Since then, Muslims have been calling for a new mosque at the same place, while Hindus have been demanding a temple on the site, claiming their most revered god, Lord Ram, was born there.

The case over the dispute has been languishing in India’s legal system for years without any final outcome.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Nisan 2017, 14:58