LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati are among the BJP leaders accused of conspiracy, leading to demolition of the mosque in December 1992.
New Delhi: The judgment in the 28-year-old case involving the demolition of the Babri Masjid — an event that changed the country’s political landscape and social fabric — will be delivered on September 30. Among the list of 32 accused asked to be present in court are BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. senior party leader Uma Bharati and former Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh are on the list as well.
Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Ms Bharati — key leaders of the BJP at the time, are accused of conspiracy that led to the demolition of the 15th Century mosque in December 1992.
It was said that the mosque was built after pulling down an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram and in November last year, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark verdict in the title suit of the Ram Janambhoomi case, ordering the construction of a temple at the site.
Mr Advani, 92, had recorded his statement in the case before the special CBI court through video conference on July 24. Mr Joshi, 86, recorded his statement a day before Mr Advani. Both have denied all charges against them.
In July, Uma Bharti told NDTV “it does not matter” to her what the judgement in the case will be. “If I am sent to the gallows, I will be blessed. The place where I was born will be happy,” she had told NDTV.
Kalyan Singh, a senior BJP leader, was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the mosque demolition. His government was dismissed as riots broke out across the country in which around 3,000 people died.
The judgment in the case will come at the fag end of the deadline given by the Supreme Court to the special court hearing the case.
In April 2017, the top court had asked the special court to conduct day-to-day hearings and complete the trial within two years. It was given several extensions thereafter and when the special judge SK Yadav asked for more time, the court extended the deadline to September 30.
The symbolic construction of the temple started earlier this year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi participating in the groundbreaking ceremony in Ayodhya.