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Top Indian politicians to face trial over Babri Masjid demolition

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday reinstated criminal charges against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top leaders including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti for criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, ARY News reported.

Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had petitioned the court for restoring criminal charges against the BJP leaders for demolishing Mughal-era mosque on December 6, 1992.

The incident enraged Muslims in the country by sparking communal riots which resulted in around 3000 deaths.

The supreme court Judges ordered to conduct hearing on daily basis until a verdict is delivered within two years.

Mr. Advani, 89, alongside other party colleagues Murli Manohar Joshi were originally charged with making inciting and agitating speeches that motivated thousands of right-wing zealots to raze the historic mosque in 1992.

However, now the BJP leaders facing far more serious charges and will be tried in Lucknow as a separate case is dealing with about 20 people accused of the actual demolition of the mosque. By combining the two trials, the judges want to ensure that a verdict is delivered within two years.

Kalyan Singh, who was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the mosque was demolished, is currently the Governor of Rajasthan and cannot be prosecuted while in office. His trial will begin after his term ends, the Supreme Court ruled.

The CBI says that it has concrete evidence of speeches made by the BJP leaders on a stage near the mosque on the day when the mosque was razed which were part of the plan to bring down the mosque.

It is pertinent to mention that the demolition of the mosque came after a movement led in part by Mr Advani for a temple to be built on the same spot where the masjid was constructed by the Mughals. Many Hindus believe that the mosque was built over the birthplace of Lord Ram; they want a temple to be built there. The Supreme Court is deciding who the dispute site belongs to.

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