Web Desk (24 News): The Indian Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that 13 members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be trialed in a criminal conspiracy case for their roles in the illegal demolition of the 16th Century Babri Mosque in 1992, reports 24 News HD.
The court ruling came 16 years after the charges against the BJP were dropped in 2001, citing lack of evidence. The ruling effectively orders the 13 serving members of the BJP to stand criminal trial for charges such as making inflammatory speeches, inciting communal violence and calling for the destruction of a minority’s place of worship.
The development is expected to shake the foundations of the BJP, which is currently looking to consolidate its power in India by employing divisive policies.
The demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992 sparked riots across India which resulted in the death of over 2000 people, most of them Muslims.
The history of communal violence goes all the way back to 1949. Muslims had been allowed to pray in the mosque until that time, but BJP zealots started harassing Muslim citizens of Ayodhya and other visitors. The harassment continued to such an extent that the gates of the mosque had to be closed for prayer.
A campaign of hate speech and communal violence was initiated in which Muslims were barred from entering the Mosque compound, and Hindu idols of Sita were forcibly placed inside it by clerics.
For almost 40 years the Mosque was out of bounds for Muslims, and was reopened only in 1989 for prayers and sermons. The final straw came when the Hindutva indoctrinated extremists were elected into government.
Extremist Hindu’s belonging to the BJP’s terrorist wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) started alleging that the Mughal Era mosque was erected in the place of a destroyed Hindu temple, and that Ayodhya’s sanctity of being the birthplace of Hindu deity Rama was being hampered due to the existence of the mosque.
In December of 1992, the mosque was attacked and ransacked by mobs of sanghi’s and likeminded Hindu extremists. Many of the people involved in the attack are currently serving in the Indian government.
Those named in the conspiracy case include former Indian Minister for Home Affairs and mentor of Narendra Modi, L. K. Advani. Advani was a proponent of ‘Hinduising’ India, and was physically involved in the destruction of the mosque.
The current Water Minister of India, Uma Bharti, and the current Governor of Rajasthan were also involved in making hate filled speeches on the date of the destruction, and are going to stand trial for their abuse of power.
The two leaders take great pride in the destruction of the Babri Mosque, and have publicly stated their hatred towards Islam and Pakistan.
The trial comes amidst rising instances of violence against minority groups in India, especially Muslims. It also comes at a time of renewed calls for the construction of a Hindu temple in place of the Babri Mosque, which currently lies in ruins.