India top court orders trial for BJP leaders

Senior figures in India’s ruling party will be tried for criminal conspiracy over the destruction of a 16th Century mosque, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The order is seen as a huge setback for former BJP chief Lal Krishna Advani and his colleagues. The court said the trial must conclude within two years.
They deny making inflammatory speeches that encouraged Hindu mobs to tear down the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992.
The riots that followed killed nearly 2,000 people.
Hindus claim the mosque was the birthplace of one of their most revered deities, Lord Ram, and that it was built after the destruction of a Hindu temple by a Muslim invader in the 16th Century.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has always said the destruction of the mosque was a planned event.
Those accused along with Mr Advani, a former deputy prime minister, include senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, who is in the current cabinet. They have all denied any wrongdoing.
In its order on Wednesday morning, the two-judge Supreme Court bench said that the trial must be completed in two years, that it would be held on “a day-to-day basis” and that “on no grounds, will it be adjourned”.
Since the court order, there has been no comment from Mr Advani or Mr Joshi, but Ms Bharti told reporters that there had been no conspiracy and that it was her dream to see the temple built.
“I want to tell the country it’s time for the Ram temple to be built. There is no conspiracy. Yes, I was there in Ayodhya on 6 December [when the mosque was demolished],” she said.


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