BJP leaders to face trial for violence

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived the conspiracy charge in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case against senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti, among others.

A Bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton Nariman pronounced a unanimous verdict after roughly two weeks of reserving it. Three men will be charged over a mosque demolition that happened over 20 years ago.

With the clubbing of the cases and revival of the conspiracy charges, the senior BJP leaders would be tried under the composite charge sheet filed by the CBI on Oct 5, 1993.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) worldwide working president Pravin Togadia today said that a conspiracy was hatched against senior BJP leaders including LK Advani and MM Joshi in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time, will not face any trial for now as he currently occupies the post of Governor of Rajasthan and hence enjoys constitutional immunity. The case shall not be adjourned on any ground except when the Sessions Court finds it impossible to carry on the trial for that particular date.

The bench had earlier reserved the order on April 6 after the CBI and other petitioners had sought the restoration of conspiracy charge against the senior Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders.

Indian new media reports said the charges would ruin the chances of Advani, a former prime minister, of becoming India's next president when the role becomes vacant later this year.

Some in the BJP, which recently won elections in India's largest state Uttar Pradesh, want to build a temple to Ram on the ruins of the razed mosque-an idea that horrifies the state's significant Muslim minority. Advani along with others was booked by the CBI for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy to demolish the mosque, leading to riots.

"Grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is my dream".

The four party leaders are accused of making inflammatory speeches that incited thousands of their followers who had camped out in Ayodhya ahead of the attack on the mosque. The Congress today said the law of the land should prevail in the Masjid demolition case and the guilty should be punished.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Vinay Katiyar said that there is no need for Uma Bharti to resign in the wake of apex court ruling as the charges against her are "baseless".

Judges have also ordered daily hearings to ensure a verdict is delivered within two years. "The Muslim community has faith in the Supreme Court and we know that it will bring the culprits of the masjid to justice", Rashidi told ANI. A lower court subsequently dropped the charge and the Rae Bareilly case eventually returned to the Rae Bareilly Magistrate.

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