Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav has delivered his verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday, 28 years after the 16th century structure was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya town.
The key accused include former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Union ministers MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. Most of the senior leaders among the 32 accused such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were not present in the Lucknow court when the judge started the proceedings.
The 32 accused face charges under several sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, rioting , promoting enmity between different groups and unlawful assembly. During the trial, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the CBI court. The court had initially framed charges against 49 accused; 17 accused have died.
Here are the live updates:
- Babri Masjid demolition verdict: On high alert, UP police told to prevent gatherings
The UP police have issued a high alert across the state in view of the verdict, in the Babri mosque demolition case, to be delivered by the special CBI court (Ayodhya case) in Lucknow on Wednesday, said senior police officials.
- CBI Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav reaches CBI court.
The court will pronounce verdict in the Babri mosque demolition case, nearly 3 decades after the 16th century structure was demolished in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
- While top accused including LK Advani, MM Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti are unlikely to attend as Kalyan and Uma Bharti are recovering from Covid-19, various other accused are expected to be present.
- Shiv Sena leader admits to role in Babri Masjid demolition
Accused Jai Bhagwan Goyal, 62, who was Shiv Sena's north India chief at the time of demolition arrives. On the issue of demolition Goyal while talking to HT said the CBI court had directed them to bring guarantor along and said he won't comply with the order. "Yes, I admit to my role in demolition," he said.
- BJP leader denies role
BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, who is among the accused in demolition case, denies hand in the criminal conspiracy. Katiyar and other leaders were on a stage that was away from the site where mosque was felled.
- 'Ready to face gallows for Lord Ram', says former BJP MP
Former BJP MP and accused in the case Ram Vilas Vedanti has said that he is "ready to face anything, including gallows, for Lord Ram."
- Several accused reach CBI court ahead of verdict
Among the accused, Vinay Katiyar, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Sadhvi Rithambhara, Acharya Dharmadas, Lallu Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Champat Rai and Sakshi Maharaj are present in the court.
- All the accused, barring 6, inside the court; judgment shortly
- Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi attend proceedings via video conferencing.
- Babri demolition was spontaneous, not pre-planned': CBI judge reads out verdict
- 32 Babri case accused acquitted. Judge says demolition was spontaneous, not pre-planned