Babri Masjid demolition case: L K Advani, M Joshi, Uma Bharti to appear before CBI court today
Veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi left for Lucknow early Tuesday morning to appear before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti was also summoned to appear before the court along with BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara.
Speaking with news agency ANI, Bharti rejected the conspiracy charges against the leaders. “It was an open protest, as it was during the time of emergency. What conspiracy was there in it I don’t know,” she said.
Before her scheduled court appearance she said: “It is the matter of God and in such a case I can only have expectations from him. Since I have taken part in it with devotion, I don’t consider myself as a criminal.”
Later in the day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Advani at the Lucknow guest where he has been staying.
Earlier, Special CBI judge S K Yadav had stated that no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance would be entertained.
The top court, however, said BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who is the Rajasthan Governor, is entitled to immunity under the Constitution until he remains in office. The disputed structure was demolished during Singh’s tenure as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.