Justice was finally granted in the infamous Babri mosque demolition case that caused 2,000 casualties in 1992. BJP stalwarts Murli Manohar Joshi, LK Advani and union minister Uma Bharti were framed for criminal conspiracy by a CBI court in Lucknow—the capital of Uttar Pradesh. 9 other saffron leaders were found guilty in this case. For now, the court had granted bail to BJP leaders on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each. Nevertheless, the judiciary will be dictating the order on their discharge applications.
The Plight of Indian Judiciary—Justice was Delayed for 25 Years…
The Babri masjid case intensified in March 2005 when former IB (Intelligence Bureau) joint director Mr. Manloy Krishna Dhar claimed that the demolition conspiracy was planned 10 months in advance by BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party), VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).
His claims were confirmed by Ms. Anju Gupta—a UP based police officer who was in charge of Advani’s security prior to 6th December 1992, the day when Babri mosque was brought to ground. In her statement, Ms. Gupta affirmed that Joshi and Advani made provocative speeches. The statements provoked Hindu extremists present in the mob that travelled to Ayodhya for damaging Babri mosque.
What Happened After Babri Masjid was Demolished in 1992?
Before the mosque was pulled down by 150,000 karsevaks (right-wing volunteers), senior BJP leaders were already facing charges for giving provocative statements in public. Following the demolition of the Babri mosque, another case was filed against Hindu extremists on grounds of communalism, riots and demolition of public property. Since these cases were interconnected, the court transferred the ‘BJP hate speech case’ from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
In 2001, the special CBI court supervising the case dropped conspiracy charges against Mr. Advani and sought to distinguish between the two cases. Surprisingly, the Allahabad high court endorsed this decision in 2010. The case was pending since last one decade until the Supreme Court decided to intervene in this matter. On April 19, 2017, the SC revived the case of ‘hatred speech and criminal conspiracy’ against RSS, VHP and BJP members.
The apex court termed the Babri mosque case as ‘crime’ that threatened the ‘secular fabric of the constitution’. Condemning the lower courts for this delay, the SC ordered CBI for conducting trial against the offenders. Moreover, the senior court rebuked the lower bodies for not pursuing investigation against the accused.
Thereafter, the CBI instantly sprung to action and trials were concluded within a month. The court rejected the discharge application of the offenders and framed charges for criminal conspiracy against them. 9 other people that were sacked in this case include:
- Sadhvi Ritambara,
- BJP MP Vinay Katiyar,
- Ram Vilas Vedanti,
- Vidnu Hari Dalmiya,
- Ramjanmbhoomi Trust chief Nritya Gopal Das,
- Baikunth Lal Sharma,
- Champat Rai Bansal,
- Satish Pradhan,
- Dharma Das.
We don’t know how long it’ll take for the ‘real’ offenders of Babri mosque riots to get imprisoned. All we know is that the court’s verdict has certainly turned things interesting in current political scenario. Knowing that Uma Bharti is a union minister and Murli Manohar Joshi and Lal Krishna Advani are prime contenders for the presidential post, their involvement in this case have turned things difficult for BJP.
How PM Narendra Modi tackles this issue will highlight the ‘transparent and just’ nature of his government. Additionally, with Advani and Joshi out of scene, BJP will have to rely on its other candidates for the upcoming presidential elections.