A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday, September 30, acquitted all 32 accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case citing lack of evidence, nearly 30 years after the Masjid was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, former ministers Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh are among those who have been acquitted in the case.
The special court observed that the demolition was not-preplanned.
In the 2,300 pages long verdict, the CBI court said that the "Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) had no role to play directly or indirectly" in the demolition. It added that "unknown people threw stones from the back", reported India Today.
"The court said the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad did not have a role in the demolition. It was carried out by mischievous elements," Defence lawyer Manish Tripathi was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
While the special court had directed all the 32 accused to be present in the court today, the BJP veterans skipped the proceedings. While Uma Bharti has tested positive for COVID-19, Advani and Joshi cited health concerns due to their old age and the pandemic.
Meanwhile, other accused Vinay Katiyar, Dharamdas, Vedanti, Lallu Singh, Champat Rai and Pawan Pandey had reached Lucknow ahead of the proceeding.
In view of the judgement, the Delhi Police has said that they will keep a strict vigil in the national capital.
During the 1992 demolition, thousands of Hindu activists had razed the Babri mosque on December 6, 1992 and was preceded by rath yatra by Advani.
Advani, Joshi and Bharti were allegedly on the dais near the mosque at the time of the mosque demolition.
The accused had faced charges under several sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, rioting, promoting enmity between different groups and unlawful assembly. The court had initially framed charges against 49, 17 have now died.