LUCKNOW: A special CBI court framed criminal charges against senior BJP leader LK Advani and eleven others for hatching a conspiracy that led to the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Other leaders who have been framed include Murli Manohar Joshi, Cabinet minister Uma Bharti, parliamentarian Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Ritambhara.
Later, Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and three others were granted bail on personal bonds of `50,000 each by the same court. The remaining six persons were granted bail during earlier hearings on May 20 and 25. After being allowed bail, lawyers of all the accused moved another application, pleading the court to absolve their clients of conspiracy charges. But the application was rejected by CBI judge SK Yadav.
The court claimed there was enough evidence on record against the accused for framing of criminal conspiracy charges. The CBI court is expected to hold day-to-day hearings on the matter from Wednesday and conclude the same in two years. The special CBI court was given a month’s time by the Supreme Court to frame conspiracy charges against the accused in the Babri demolition case, and was asked to deliver its verdict within two years.
Saffron leaders in Uttar Pradesh made a beeline to greet Advani and Joshi, who travelled together from Delhi. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya and Cabinet Ministers SP Sahi and Ashutosh Tandon received them at the Amausi airport. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met the duo at the VVIP guest house before they proceeded to the CBI court in Indiranagar.
“I don’t consider myself an accused... There was no conspiracy, it was an open movement like it happened against the Emergency,” Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti told reporters before heading to the court. The party also expressed support for its leaders. “We are sure that our leaders are innocent and will come out unscathed,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
The Supreme Court had called the destruction of Babri Masjid a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”.