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LK Advani, MM Joshi among 32 acquitted in Babri mosque demolition case

All the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case, including Bharatiya Janata Party veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were acquitted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court which said there was no conclusive proof against them.

Delivering the much-awaited verdict in the 28-year-old case, CBI judge S K Yadav did not accept newspapers and video cassettes as evidence.

The court also observed that late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal wanted to save the structure because Ram idols were inside.

The 32 accused, include former deputy prime minister Advani, former Union minister Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, during whose tenure the structure was pulled down, besides Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambara.

Champat Rai, the general secretary of the trust in charge of constructing the temple, was among the accused.

Yadav had on September 16 directed all the 32 surviving accused to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment. Today was the last working day of Yadav.

Advani (92), Joshi (86), Nritya Gopal Das and Satish Pradhan were also not present in court.

Singh, during whose tenure as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was demolished, was put on trial in September last year after his tenure as governor (of Rajasthan) came to an end.

With the Supreme Court setting August 31 as the deadline and later extending it by a month for the CBI court to give its verdict, the trial court started day-to-day hearing to complete the task on time.

The central agency produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 16 have died during the course of trial.

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