A special CBI court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case of criminal conspiracy to bring down the mosque.
Those accused in the case had included senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti apart from three sitting BJP MLAs, and other party members.
The court in its judgment observed that there was not enough evidence against the accused. The judge also said that the Babri Mosque demolition incident was not pre-planned and called it “a spontaneous outpouring of emotions”. “It was all just due to the heat of the moment,” the court observed.
Here’s a look at various accounts of what happened in the days leading up to and after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
1. This video comprises archival footage, eyewitness and reporter accounts of the events of December 6, 1992, as well as the aftermath of the demolition and reactions of BJP leaders, including interviews with several workers and leaders of the party.
The video includes Chandan Mitra’s account of what LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were doing at the time of the demolition (17.15). Mitra was a journalist with the Hindustan Times at the time. In 2014, he contested the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket. In 2018, he joined the TMC.
The coverage also includes interview with kar sevaks involved (19.15) and a VHP leader who said they had been rehearsing the mosque’s demolition for five days (21.55).
At the 1.48.05 mark is Karan Thapar’s interview with AB Vajpayee on the demolition and the divided views within the BJP.
2. Photojournalist Praveen Jain who was in Ayodhya on 5 and 6 December 1992, recounts seeing the kar sevaks prepare for the demolition.
His photos from the days, show a man with his face covered instructing workers on how to pull down the mosque. (1.59)
He also photographed the Ram Katha Kunj stage from which Advani, Joshi, Vijayaraje Scindia and Sadhvi Rithambhara watched the mosque being pulled down (4.05).
Jain talks about the mob attacking the press to destroy their camera. Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti did not pay heed to the media’s request for help, he says.
3. Anand Patwardhan’s 1991 documentary Ram Ke Naam follows the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s campaign to build a Ram temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and the violence that it unleashed.
The documentary includes an interview with Pujari Laldas (12.15), the court-appointed priest of a temple located in the mosque compound, where he had alleged that Hindutva forces were rallying for political power and financial greed. In 1993, Laldas was found killed.
The documentary also follows LK Advani’s Rath Yatra (16.15) and has interviews with VHP workers.
The Babri Masjid’s demolition took place a few months after the film’s release.