Welcoming the decision of a special CBI court to acquit all accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, Iqbal Ansari -- who was one of the litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case -- on Wednesday urged the nation not to create any new dispute.
All accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, including senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, and Kalyan Singh, besides Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, were acquitted by the special CBI court in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Ansari said that everybody knows what happened in Ayodhya. "Several people had filed cases in connection with it. But we want the dispute to end and not escalate. We respect the Constitution and the court's judgment. There should be no new dispute in the country now," he said, adding the CBI case should have ended last year with the Supreme Court order on the disputed site in Ayodhya.
"When the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri Masjid site came in 2019, the whole country welcomed it. It's good that the CBI case has also come to an end today. This matter should have ended on November 9, 2019, only; it got unnecessarily stretched for a year," Ansari told reporters here.
The special CBI court on Wednesday held that the Babri Masjid demolition was done by anti-social elements and that it was not pre-planned, said advocate Prashant Singh Atal, counsel for Sakshi Maharaj. He added that the court acquitted all accused as there was not enough evidence against them.
"Today the special CBI judge acquitted all 32 accused. It held that the accusations by the CBI were wrong. It also held that the evidence against the accused was not adequate. The court commented that the demolition was done by anti-social elements; VHP or Sangh had no hand in it. The leaders had, in fact, tried to stop the incident," Atal told reporters here.
He added the court held that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not follow the provisions of Section 65(B) of the Evidence Act; that is why all accused were acquitted.
"About the photographs, the court said that the negatives were available but the CBI could not produce them. Also, video recordings were fabricated and tampered with," he added.
Another lawyer for the defendants said that the court opined that "karsewaks who had assembled in Ayodhya were there for karsewa".
Earlier today, 26 of the 32 accused had arrived at the court, while six others, including senior BJP leader Advani, took part through videoconferencing.
There were 49 accused in the case, out of which 17 have passed away. The rest 32 had been asked to be physically present in the court.