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Babri Masjid case: SC to hear to dropping criminal charges against Advani and other BJP leaders

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s plea against Allahabad High Court’s order dropping criminal conspiracy charges against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in Babri Masjid demolition case.

Photo credit: How a mosque became a temple

There are two sets of cases – one against BJP leader L.K. Advani, others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri mosque was demolished. The other case was against lakhs of ‘karsevaks’ (volunteers) who were in and around the disputed structure.CBI had charge-sheeted Advani and 20 others under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc. circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

It had subsequently invoked charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court.

A walk down memory lane

In April 1984, the VHP started a campaign to garner support for Hindu access to Babri Masjid and other Hindu structures and the VHP started nationwide rath yatras, the first of which was in 1984 from Sitamarhi to Ayodha. On Jan 25, 1986, a 28-year-old lawyer appealed to the court to remove restrictions on Hindu worship and the Rajiv Gandhi government ordered the gates to be removed. In Tensions continued to fray, and senior BJP leader LK Advani started a 10,000 km rath yatra to ayodha. On 6 December, 1992, BJP, VHP and RSS leaders climbed the dome following which kar sevaks demolished the mosque. What followed were communal riots in the country and Bangladesh as well. The Liberhan commission set up by the erstwhile govt to investigate the demolition blamed 68 people including BJP, RSS and VHP leaders.

With inputs from agencies

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