All 32 accused acquitted including Advani, Joshi, Uma, Kalyan Singh

The special CBI court pronounced its verdict on September 30 in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case in Ayodhya. All accused have been acquitted including LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi. CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav reading the operative part of the verdict said the demolition was not pre-planned. As soon as the court announced the acquittal of the accused, jubilation broke out outside the court, in Ayodhya and Lucknow, where supporters of the leaders were present to celebrate the occasion.

LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were not present in the Lucknow court when the judge started the proceedings. While Uma Bharti has tested positive for coronavirus, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi excused themselves on grounds of health and age.

26 out of 32 accused were present in the court, including Sadhvi Ritambhara, Sakshi Maharaj, Vinay Katiyar and Champat Rai Bansal.In the Babri demolition case, an FIR was registered against a total of 49 people. Of these 17 have died, the remaining 32 were still accused. The seventeen include Bal Thackeray, Ashok Singhal, Mahant Avaidyanath, Giriraj Kishore, and Vijayaraje Scindia who passed away during the trial.

The UP police issued a high alert across the state in view of the verdict, in the Babri mosque demolition case. Vehicular movement on the roads adjoining the court has been minimsed. Wooden barricades were erected near most of the cross-sections in the vicinity of the court building, and movement of buses from the Kaisarbagh bus stand diverted.

Supporters were stopped at the barricades itself. Media persons were not allowed to enter the court building. Most of the shops in the vicinity of the courts remained closed in view of the pronouncement of the verdict. Lucknow’s Commissioner of Police Sujeet Pandey also took stock of security arrangements. The special CBI court had accused LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambhara, and Vishnu Hari Dalmia for plotting a criminal conspiracy 120B. All these were prosecuted under sections 120B, 147, 149, 153A, 153B, and 505 (1) of IPC.

There are charges under section 120B only. After Kalyan Singh stepped down as Governor, on September 17, 2019, all the above-mentioned sections were also imposed on him.