Just hours after a special CBI court acquitted all accused in the criminal conspiracy case surrounding the demolition of the Babri Masjid, freshly acquitted BJP leader LK Advani welcomed the verdict. In an interview to NDTV he said, “Today’s judgment is significant. I welcomed the verdict saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’ when I got the news.”
Advani also released a statement saying, “The judgment vindicates my personal and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s belief and commitment towards the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement.” The statement goes on to speak about the previous verdict in the Ayodhya civil suit and Advani says, “Along with millions of my countrymen, I now look forward to the completion of the beautiful Shri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.” He ends the statement with ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
A copy of the statement may be viewed here:
Among political parties, the Congress issued a statement saying, “The decision of the Special Court to acquit all the accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case runs counter to Supreme Court Judgment as also the Constitutional spirit.” The entire statement may be read here:
The CPI (M) released a statement saying, “The verdict of the Special CBI Court at Lucknow acquitting all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case amounts to a travesty of justice. It took 28 long years for this verdict but not justice to be delivered. All the top leaders of the BJP-VHP-RSS who were present at the scene guiding the criminal act have been found to be innocent of the charge of conspiracy to demolish the mosque.”
It added, “The Supreme Court in its Ayodhya judgment on November 8, last year had called the demolition an egregious violation of the law. Now, the Lucknow court has found the main perpetrators of this crime not guilty.” The CPI (M) also said, “This verdict will blemish the image of India as a secular-democratic country governed by the Constitution. The CBI must immediately appeal against this judgment.”
Meanwhile, civil society and human rights activists were shocked at the acquittal of all the accused.
Jignesh Mevani tweeted, “Like Kapil Mishra is in reality a great messenger of peace, Babri demolition and Rath Yatra was in reality just a fake news. All media stories before 2014 was fake news, only post-BJP media is truth.”
1992 and 2019…
And in 2020: today, actually no one demolished #BabriMasjid.
Like Kapil Mishra is in reality a great messenger of peace, Babri demolition and Rath Yatra was in reality just a fake news. All media stories before 2014 was fake news, only post-BJP media is truth. pic.twitter.com/HbMnbjYnBm
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) September 30, 2020
Human rights defender Teesta Setalvad also took to Twitter to urge citizens to take a closer look at the ramifications of the judgment:
2/Look at Doordsrshan n BBC Archival footage! Newstrack n Eye Witness! By India Today and HT! Listen to incendiary speeches by Vajpayee n Advani at Mathura days before Dec 6! Finally, read the much delayed Liberians Commission. More truth here than in Court Verdicts!
— Teesta Setalvad (@TeestaSetalvad) September 30, 2020
Giving the case a Jessica Lal like spin, journalist Sagarika Ghose tweeted, “Nobody demolished the Babri Masjid.”
Nobody demolished the Babri Masjid. #BabriMasjidDemolitionCase
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) September 30, 2020
Activist Kavita Krishnan tweeted about how the judgment could be a sign of things to come:
Judge sahab – your verdict has encouraged, incentivised the demolition of many more Mughal era heritage monuments of India including the Taj Mahal. Slogans to this effect are resounding on India’s hate TV screens. https://t.co/qWAeXRyyVJ
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) September 30, 2020
Many other civil society members shared their shock:
New India: no one will be punished for the most public crime in contemporary history. #BabriDemolitionCase
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) September 30, 2020
मेरे प्यारे देशवासियों…
You’re innocent if you’ve carried out demolitions, threatened/ committed violence, sent gunmen into the streets.
You’re totally not innocent if you preach peace, want to read the Constitution, or base a protest on the methods of the freedom struggle.?
— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) September 30, 2020
Others on Twitter too expressed shock:
Shame on the #BabriMasjid for demolishing itself and creating so much confusion.
— Sayantan Ghosh (@sayantansunnyg) September 30, 2020
People like Sadhvi Pragya proudly recalled how she went there and destroyed #BabriMasjid with her own hands. There is no conspiracy here? There is no violence here? It’s pathetic how low the judiciary has fallen.#BabriDemolitionCase
— Arya (@RantingDosa) September 30, 2020
As per CBI court, Babri demolition wasn’t pre-planned.
It was Act of God.#BabriDemolitionCase
— Nirmala Tai (@CrypticMiind) September 30, 2020
So Advani’s Rath Yatra crossed 3000 km saying Mandir Wahin Banayenge, Ek Dhakka Aur Do Babri Masjid Tod Do. Friendly Fascist Vajpayee said ‘Zameen Samtal Karna Hoga’. Uma Bharati gave hateful speeches. But: no conspiracy. But, read Paul Brass and it is conspiracy. #BabriVerdict
— Subir Sinha (@PoMoGandhi) September 30, 2020