The decision of the Special Central Bureau of Investigation Court, Lucknow, acquitting all the 32 accused in the ‘Babri Masjid demolition case’ is a welcome verdict. It has evoked contrarian reactions, many hailing and some complaining. In a 2,300 page-judgement, the special court has held that there was no conclusive evidence against the 32 accused of being involved in any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya. It did not accept newspaper reports and video cassettes as evidence while observing that the late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal wanted to save the structure because Ram idols were inside the 16th century mosque. The decision has been widely welcomed by the right wing parties while others, called liberals, have raised fingers and sought appeal against the special court judgment. On expected lines, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has called the development as ‘obnoxious’, saying that this judgment satisfies the collective consciousness of Hindutva and its followers and ideology. Similar views have been expressed by others. It is hoped that the judgement would be evaluated on merits. Sagacity demands that the parties involved should exercise restraint and help in ending the intra-community bickering over the issue for years. The long pending dispute has witnessed passions running high with the two sides going to extreme at times. This has only vitiated the atmosphere. Though the case had lost its relevance post historic Supreme Court verdict on November 9 last year settling over a century old Ram Janambhoomi title suit, yet it is a big relief for the people in general and the accused including Lal Krishan Advani, among others, in particular. For them justice delayed is justice denied. The pendency of the case has dented reputations and impacted political careers of veteran BJP leaders. Advani could have been the forerunner for presidency last year had the case been settled earlier. Similarly, several other senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were pushed to the background though there were certain other reasons like inter-party bickering responsible for their political Vanvas.
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