Lucknow, September 30
Vandals were responsible for demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya in 1992 and it was the volunteers of the RSS and the VHP who handled the situation, a special CBI court on Wednesday said.
The court, in its judgment, said that such ‘kar sevaks’ (volunteers) who were unruly and rowdy can never be called ‘Ram bhakts’ (disciples of Lord Ram) because their actions adversely affected the secular fabric of the nation and it also compelled the Supreme Court to make certain observations in its November 2019 judgment.
Special Judge SK Yadav, in his 2,300-page judgment, said that there is no evidence to prove that the accused and the unruly elements planned and met each other at any time to hatch the alleged conspiracy.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) managed the situation and directions were being given by them. They had made seating arrangements for women, senior citizen and reporters, the CBI court said.
The disruption was caused by a different group of kar sevaks who were vandals, it said.
The case is related to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, which triggered riots for several months leaving nearly 2,000 people dead across the country.
The structure was demolished by ‘kar sevaks’ who claimed that the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.
The 32 accused include former deputy prime minister L K Advani, former Union ministers M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh during whose tenure the structure was pulled down, besides VHP leaders Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambara.
Charges were framed against 49 people, but 17 (including stalwarts like Ashok Singhal, Balasaheb Thackeray, Vijayraje Scindia) have died during the course of the trial.
The serious criminal conspiracy charge against the accused was first dropped by the trial court in 2001. The verdict was upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2010, but the Supreme Court ordered restoration of the conspiracy charge against the accused on April 19, 2017.
The charge of conspiracy was in addition to other charges, including promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had argued that the accused conspired and instigated ‘karsevaks’ to demolish the 16th-century mosque.
However, the accused had pleaded innocence, maintaining there is no evidence to prove their guilt and claiming that they were implicated by the then Congress government at the Centre as political vendetta. PTI