Babri demolition case highlights: Charges of criminal conspiracy framed against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti
Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and union minister Uma Bharti appeared before a special CBI court on Tuesday and were granted bail in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. The court framed charges of criminal conspiracy under section 120(b) of the Indian Penal Code.
Besides these three leaders, special CBI judge SK Yadav had asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and a one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court in person. The judge had said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.
The Supreme Court had on April 19 ordered prosecution of Advani, Joshi, Bharti, and others accused for criminal conspiracy in the politically sensitive case. It had also ordered for the trial to be concluded in two years.
Here are the highlights of the hearing:
5:40 pm: “This is the right time when everyone would come to know about the facts and the truth about this issue. This would not affect the future of the politicians as they are innocent in the Supreme Court’s eye. It will depend on court’s verdict,” Swamy tells ANI.
5:36 pm: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy says the court’s decision would not affect the future of the veteran leaders as they are still innocent in the eyes of the court.
5:33 pm: “I was present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, which is no secret. Crores of BJP workers, lakhs of officials and thousands of political leaders participated. It was an open movement like the movement against the Emergency. I don’t see any conspiracy,” Bharti tells the media.
5:30 pm: Uma Bharti tells TV channels she appeared in the special CBI court out of respect for the court but had “expectations only from God”.
“In a matter concerning God, my hopes also rest on God. Because I contributed (in the movement) with complete faith, I don’t consider myself guilty,” she says.
5:15 pm: “I did not give any speech on December 6, 1992. When we reached the site, the demolition had already started. There was no chance to give any speech.
“Some people were indeed speaking on microphones, asking people to come down from the structure. Rajmata ji (BJP leader Vijaya Raje Scindia) was asking people to come down, but no one was ready to listen,” says Katiyar.
5:12 pm: “Good that this hearing is taking place… On the other hand, this hearing itself should not have taken place. When something happened in front of lakhs of people, how come only 10-20 people are being charged?” says Katiyar.
5:10 pm: Vinay Katiyar reiterates that there was no conspiracy. “Whatever happened that day took place in front of lakhs of people. Nothing took place in a closed room,” he tells Times Now TV channel.
5:06 pm: “Mandir nirman ke liye Modi ji aur Yogi ji dono taiyar hai. (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath are both ready for the construction of the Ram temple). The construction will start after December 6, 2018,” Vedanti tells TV channels.
5:04 pm: “Joshi ji and Advani ji never asked us to break the structure. They asked us to come down from the structure. The kar seva is over, they told us. The charges against them are false,” says Ram Vilas Vedanti, a former Lok Sabha member from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
5:02 pm: “I told the court in clear terms that the structure was built over Ramlalla. And I am responsible for breaking the structure. If I am found guilty, I am ready to go to jail or be hanged,” Ram Vilas Vedanti tells TV channels.
5 pm: Hindu religious leader and BJP member Ram Vilas Vedanti, who is an accused in the demolition case, tells TV channels that he is ready to go to jail or to be hanged.
4:51pm: “Union minister Uma Bharti must step down. Hope PM (Narendra Modi) will ask Uma Bharti to resign,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tells TV channels.
4:50pm: Congress demands Union minister Uma Bharti’s resignation.
4:30pm: BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, who was also chargesheeted in the Babri demolition case, tells TV channels it (demolition) was “spontaneous and there was no conspiracy”.
4:05pm: The BJP-led NDA government did not move to withdraw the case against the senior party leaders, says Venkaiah Naidu.
4:01pm: Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu defends BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti, saying “they are innocent and will come out unscathed”.
2:50pm: Charges under section 120(b) of the IPC have been framed against LK Advani and others. Section 120B stands for criminal conspiracy.
2:45pm: Special CBI court rejects discharge application by the accused, including LK Advani, MM Joshi and others. The charges will be framed against all the accused in the Babri demolition case.
1:35pm: ANI quotes lawyer of the accused, Prashant Atal, saying: “We have submitted discharge application, if the court rejects it, then charges will be framed.”
The defence counsel moved a “discharge application” in which the accused claimed not guilty in the December 1992 razing of the mosque at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
1:20pm: LK Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi and other BJP leaders granted bail on personal bond of Rs 50,000 in Babri demolition case. The hearing is on.
12:45pm: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj says “no power on earth” can stop the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya ahead of proceedings in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case in Lucknow: PTI
12:20pm: LK Advani and other BJP leaders have reached the CBI court.
BJP leader Vinay Katiyar and Hindutva firebrand Sadhvi Ritambara too appear before the court.
12:10pm: LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma bharti, Vinay Katiyar and others leave the VVIP guest house for CBI court.
12 pm: Water minister Uma Bharti arrives at the VVIP guest house.
11.40 pm: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu tells ANI, “This is a legal process,let it happen. Our leaders are innocent, they will come out unscathed; don’t want to make any comment.”
11.00 pm: Advani arrives to be greeted by CM Yogi Adityanath, Ram Vilas Vedanti and Mahant Dharamdas. Priests have arrived at guest house to hold puja ahead of the hearing. Murli Manohar Joshi has also arrived.
10.45 pm: Chief minister Yogi Adityanath arrives at VVIP guest house to meet Advani and other leaders.
Champat Rai, Vedanti, Vinay Katiyar and Dharam Das have also reached. Katiyar told ANI that he will follow the court’s rulings. “I don’t want to say anything on this, court has to take the decision and we will follow it. We will appear before the court and will see what will happen.”
10.30 pm: BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj has reached the CBI court, says, “I have no regret for what happened on December 6, 1992. Babar was an invader and a mosque built in his name had to be demolished. Advani ji is being unnecessary dragged in the court.”
Advani has reached Lucknow.
10.00 am: Union minister Uma Bharti says the demolition of the mosque was part of a movement during Emergency. “I don’t see what the conspiracy is in this case.”
9.00 am: Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi leave for Lucknow to appear before the CBI court.
(With inputs from agencies)