Huge Mosque Coming Down Within 5 Hours Without Planning is Impossible, Says Then Home Secretary on Babri Verdict
File photo of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in November 1990. (PTI)
Madhav Godbole, who was Narasimha Rao’s home secretary, in December 1992 said he is “aghast” by the Babri Masjid demolition verdict acquitting LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other right-wing leaders.
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Madhav Godbole who was Narasimha Rao’s home secretary when the Babri Masjid was demolished by a mob of kar sevaks on December 6, 1992, said he is aghast at Wednesday’s verdict exonerating top right-wing leaders, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, of the crime.
Besides Advani and Joshi, BJP leader Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar and right-wing leader Sadhvi Rithambarawere among 32 accused acquitted by a special CBI court which said the incident wasn’t “pre-planned”.
A report in HuffPost India quoted Godbole as questioning how the act of bringing down a “huge” mosque within five hours could not be planned in advance.
“Quite frankly, I am aghast with this verdict because, firstly, a huge mosque of this size coming down within a period of five hours without any planning or without any preparation on the part of anybody is impossible to believe,” he said, adding that the decision is a “commentary on our judicial system, criminal law system”.
The report added that Godbole clarified that his statement was in the context of the first part of the judgment on the alleged conspiracy.
The masjid was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992, claiming that the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.
Charges were initially framed against 48 people, but 16 died during the course of trial. The trial under the serious criminal conspiracy charges commenced against them after having been dropped by the trial court in 2001. The verdict was upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2010, but the apex court ordered restoration of the conspiracy charge against them on April 19, 2017.
The CBI had argued that the accused conspired and instigated 'kar sevaks' to demolish the 16th century mosque. However, the accused had pleaded innocence maintaining that there is no evidence to prove their guilt and claimed they were implicated by the then Congress government at the Centre as a political vendetta.
In a significant judgment last year, the Supreme Court allotted the disputed site in Ayodhya for construction of a Ram temple, while calling the demolition of the mosque a violation of the rule of law. An alternative five-acre site was marked in the city for building a mosque.