In a big setback for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Supreme Court has revived the charges of conspiracy against senior party leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The Supreme Court has also set a 2 year deadline for the trial in the 25-year-old case to end.
Though the demolition case is being fought since the past 25 years, the dispute regarding the Babri Masjid and Ram Janambhoomi dates back to 1885. It was then that Mahant Raghubir Das was denied permission to build a temple on the outer courtyard of the Babri Masjid.
In 1949 Ram Lalla and Sita idols ‘appeared’ under the central dome of the Babri Masjid. The Wakf Board which has claimed ownership of the land and Hindu parties filed civil suits. The site thereby was declared ‘disputed’ and the gates to the building were locked.
The site opened for Hindu worshippers after Faizabad district judge orders removal of locks in 1986. The UP govt acquired land around the structure for the convenience of devotees who attend Ram Lalla darshan in 1991.
December 6, 1992 : Babri Masjid demolished by karsevaks. Large scale riots were triggered soon. 13 BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar were named for delivering ‘communal’ speeches before the demolition.
October 1993: CBI in its chargesheet accused Advani and other BJP leaders of ‘conspiracy’
2001: Conspiracy charges against 13 accused, including LK Advani dropped
June 30, 2009: Liberhan Commission submits its report to the then PM Manmohan Singh. The report held 68 people culpable, including Advani and former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in whose regime the Babri Masjid was demolished.
May 20, 2010: Advani, others absolved of conspiracy charges
September 30, 2010: Allahabad HC awards two-thirds of Ayodhya site to Hindu parties and one-third to Waqf Board.
February 2011: CBI moved SC, saying the demolition bid was “a concerted conspiracy”
May 9, 2011: SC stayed Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya dispute, says status quo will remain
April 6, 2017: CBI urged SC to revive the Babri Masjid demolition case
April 19: Conspiracy charges against LK Advani restored. Kalyan Singh will not be prosecuted in the case till the time he is the Rajasthan governor. There will be a day-to-day hearing in the case.v