A Special CBI court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case of December 6, 1992, acquitted all the 32 accused on Wednesday saying it was spontaneous and not a planned move.
Those acquitted in the case that lasted 28 years include former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, former Union Ministers M.M. Joshi, Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, among others.
We dug deep into the archives, back to The Free Press Journal’s December 7, 1992 edition.
As the Free Press Journal reported, "the entire Babri Masjid Structure, on Sunday, was totally razed to the ground by frenzied Hindu Kar Sevaks. At 11.15 am on Sunday, lakhs of Kar Sevaks who had not been allowed to enter the walled area, broke down the barricade and fencing and stormed the mosque".
Such was the magnitude of the topic that it dominated the entire front page.
It took around five hours for the mosque to fall to the onslaught. Armed with sickles, poles from the barricading ropes and anything else which they could lay their hands on, thousands had climbed over the domes and began to demolish the Babri Masjid structure. The rather frenzied destruction had begun around 11.50 pm.
"The main central dome which was the last to fall crumbled to the ground amid chants of Jai Shri Ram at exactly 4.50 pm," the archived report adds.
Following the incident, there were also several political reactions that assumed significance, and thus made it to news headlines.
While the BJP was reported to have accepted "moral responsibility" the VHP blamed "anti-social elements that had infiltrated the ranks of Kar Sevaks'.
Many called for the Prime Minister to step down. At the same time, then West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu was reported to have criticised then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for "delay in invoking Article 356 of the constitution against the BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh".
But there were repercussions against the state government too. The issue of a delay aside, Article 356 was eventually invoked. The BJP government in UP was dismissed, and the state assembly was dissolved after an emergency meeting that followed the demolition.