BJP leaders acquitted of the Babri mosque demolition

They include Lal Krishna Advani, Prime Minister Modi’s predecessor at the head of the Hindu nationalist party. 32 people acquitted for lack of evidence. In 2019, the Supreme Court assigned the area where the mosque stood to Hindus. Muslim group: We will appeal. Opposition forces: The verdict violates the Constitution and the law.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - An Indian court yesterday acquitted 32 members of the Hindu nationalist party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), now in power, of all charges for the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) 28 years ago.

The exonerated leaders include prominent figures, such as Lal Krishna Advani, predecessor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm of the BJP, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.

The judges ruled that there is not enough evidence to establish that leading BJP figures planned the destruction of the holy site (dating back to the 16th century) on December 6, 1992.

Within hours, a crowd of 150,000 Hindu radicals, including several members of the extremist Sangh Parivar formation, demolished the mosque. They claimed it stood on the remains of a temple dedicated to the god Ram. The attack resulted in severe clashes with the Muslim community, which resulted in around 2,000 deaths.

The acquittal of the representatives of the BJP means that still today no one is responsible for the massacre. Of the 49 people originally indicted, 17 died during the trial.

India’s Muslim community see this as the second major blow in just over a year. In 2019, ending a legal battle that lasted years, the Supreme Court assigned the area where the mosque stood to the Hindu community; Muslims were granted the right to build their place of prayer in another area of ​​Ayodhya.

Last August, Modi laid the foundation stone for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site, thus fulfilling an old promise made at his constituency. The demolition of the Babri mosque is seen by many observers as a watershed in the country's recent history, marked by the rapid rise of the Hindu nationalist right.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which brings together several Muslim political groups, has announced that it will appeal against yesterday’s verdict. Two of the main opposition forces to the Modi government (the Congress and the Communist Party of India) also criticized the judges' decision. They speak of a "shameful violation of the Constitution and the law".