Agencies: A special CBI court will frame charges on Tuesday against senior BJP leaders and others for allegedly conspiring to demolish the 16th-century Babri Masjid, an event that triggered communal riots and left a deep religious schism. Saffron party leaders LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi and nine others will be present in the Lucknow court when criminal conspiracy charges are framed under IPC section 120(b).
Hundreds of Hindu zealots scaled disputed Babri Masjid in 1992 and knocked it down with axes, hammers and other tools, triggering a cycle of communal violence that claimed more than 3,000 lives. The controversial razing was the culmination of a festering dispute between Muslims and many Hindus, who believe the Mughal emperor Babur razed a temple at the site believed to be the birthplace of Hindu god Ram. The demolition also buoyed the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh and in other Hindi heartland states.
Last month, the Supreme Court revived criminal charges against the top leaders, overturning a trial court’s decision to let them off on a technicality. Advani, Joshi, Bharti, Sadhvi Rithambara, Vishnu Hari Dalmai, Vinay Katiyar, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharamdas, Champat Rai Bansal, Baikunth Lal Sharma and Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan will be present before the court on Tuesday.
The CBI special court had sent summons to all those allegedly associated with the demolition of the Babri mosque after a Supreme Court order. After receiving the summons, Vedanti, Mahant Gopal Das, Mahant Dharamdas, Bansal and Sharma had appeared before the court on May 20 for bail, which was granted by the court.
Pradhan could not appear in court on May 20 due to ill-health but he appeared before it on May 24 and got bail. However, Advani, Joshi, Bharti, Rithambara, Dalmai and Katiyar are yet to appear before court. On Tuesday, these leaders would also submit surrender application in the court and seek bail. They are also expected to complete all legal formalities when charges would be framed against them.