Friday, September 22, 2017 | ePaper

India ruling party leaders face trial in 1992 Babri Masjid attack

  • Print


Indian opposition leader and President of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, second right, senior BJP leaders Uma Bharati, right, Kalyan Singh, second left, and Murli Manohar Joshi wave to people during a public rally in Rae Bareilly, in the nor

Reuters, New Delhi :
The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday revived charges of criminal conspiracy against leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party in two cases pertaining to the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque, The Hindu reported.
The demolition of the mosque, located in the northern town of Ayodhya, triggered wide-scale religious riots that killed thousands, deepening divisions between Hindus and India's large Muslim minority that remain today.
A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justices P.C. Ghose and Rohinton F. Nariman revived the charges against veteran BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Modi's water resources minister Uma Bharti for making inflammatory speeches that incited Hindus to tear down the 16th-century mosque.
The charges against the BJP leaders, brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation, date back more than a decade and were previously blocked by another court.
Charges against six other BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders were also revived. They had been accused of "giving provocative speeches that promoted enmity and threatened national integration" in the Rae Bareilly case.
Earlier this year, the Rae Bareilly case was clubbed together with the Lucknow case, which pertains to the actual demolition of the mosque and ensuing violence.
During Wednesday's hearing, the apex court clarified that despite being clubbed together, the trial would be no de novo (initiated anew). Rather, the criminal conspiracy charges would be joined into one.
The SC also ordered a day-to-day trial of the case to be completed in two years - a decision that will be a blow to the BJP and revive debate about the brand of Hindu nationalism within Modi's party.
During the hearing, the Indian SC also exempted Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh from facing trial, the daily added.
Singh, who was serving as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the demolition of the mosque, is protected from criminal prosecution by the constitutional immunity granted to him as governor.
However, Justice Nariman maintained that the governor would be prosecuted "the moment he steps down".
Modi has himself been dogged by questions over his Hindu nationalist ideology. He long faced allegations that he looked the other way or even encouraged Hindu mobs to go on a rampage against Muslims in Gujarat state, where he was chief minister in 2002, after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was torched.
He denied the allegations and a Supreme Court-ordered inquiry absolved him of responsibility.
In 1992, Advani, a former home minister and chief of the BJP, had led Hindus on a pilgrimage that ended with the razing of the mosque. Photographs circulated at the time show politicians celebrating its destruction.
The BJP is committed to building a temple on the site of the mosque, which Hindus say is the birthplace of their god-king Rama, "within the framework of the constitution".

More News For this Category

Afghan President praises Trump`s strategy for Afghanistan

Reuters, United Nation :Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump's strategy to win the war in Afghanistan will work where his predecessor's failed because

Russian special forces helping Syrian troops in key city

Russian special forces helping Syrian troops in key city

AP, Moscow :Russian special forces are helping Syrian government troops fight Islamic State militants in the battle underway for the strategic city of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, the

Filipino protesters slam martial law, killings under Duterte

Filipino protesters slam martial law, killings under Duterte

AP, Manila :Thousands of protesters marked the anniversary of the 1972 martial law declaration by late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say is the

News In Brief

Grenade attack kills 3 in Indian-held KashmirAP, SrinagarThree civilians were killed and 23 others wounded after suspected rebels Thursday lobbed a grenade at a motorcade of a local government

Time for North Korea dialogue is over: Japanese PM

Time for North Korea dialogue is over: Japanese PM

AFP, United Nations :Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday declared the time for dialogue with North Korea to be over and rallied behind a US warning that "all

Melania threatens lawsuit over English class billboard

Melania threatens lawsuit over English class billboard

AP, Zagreb :Billboards featuring Melania Trump and the slogan "just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English" were removed Tuesday from the Croatian capital

Hindus fleeing Myanmar violence nowhope for shelter in India

Hindus fleeing Myanmar violence nowhope for shelter in India

Reuters, New Delhi : Caught in the crossfire between Myanmar's military and Rohingya insurgents, hundreds of Hindus who have fled to Bangladesh are placing their hopes on the Hindu nationalist

Iran in UN spotlight as Trump threatens nuclear deal

Iran in UN spotlight as Trump threatens nuclear deal

AFP, United Nations :Tehran will defend itself on the world stage on Wednesday with President Donald Trump threatening to trigger a new international crisis by pulling out of the

News In Brief

Raqqa campaign in 'final stages': SDFReuters, BeirutThe U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday its campaign to capture Raqqa from Islamic State (IS) was in its final stages

Turkey warns of global conflict if Iraq or Syria break up

Turkey warns of global conflict if Iraq or Syria break up

Reuters, Sirnak, Turkey :Turkey escalated its opposition to a Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq on Tuesday, training tank guns and rocket launchers across the southern border and saying