DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ‘PHOTOS, VIDEOS NOT EVIDENCE: NO NEGATIVES PRODUCED, NO FORENSIC ANALYSIS’ ‘NO PLAN TO DEMOLISH MOSQUE: ACCUSED NEVER SAT IN A ROOM AND DISCUSSED’ ‘MIGHT HAVE BEEN PAK HAND: INTEL ON TERRORISTS AT SITE IGNORED’ Babri demolition: No one guilty Advani, Joshi and Uma among all 32 cleared, court says no evidence BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, SEPTEMBER 30 A SPECIAL CBI court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 surviving accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, citing lack of evidence. In his 2,300-page order, CBI Special Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav rejected evidence from photos, videos, and speeches of the accused, raised questions on the conclusions drawn by the prosecution, and referred to the possible involvement of Pakistani intelligence agencies andanti-socialelementsandterrorists disguised as kar sevaks who had entered the site. The order said there was no evidence that the accused had met “inside a room” to plan the razing of the mosque. Also, the judge ruled, videos of the demolition were not sent for forensic examination, and negatives of the pictures taken on that day were not produced –theycouldnot,therefore,berelied upon as evidence. “All evidence present in documentswasanalysed.Thecrime against the accused could not be established,”Yadavsaidinhisorder, written in Hindi. Amongthoseaquittedofcon- BY UNNY L K AdvanioutsidehisNewDelhiresidenceaftertheverdict;thecourtacquittedall32accusedof conspiringtorazethe Babri Masjidin1992. Anil Sharma/File For Sangh, shadow lifts in criminal case; for Opp, a bind as in temple ruling RAVISH TIWARI & LIZ MATHEW THE EDITORIAL PAGE THEDEMOLITION PAGE 10 spiracy charges were the leading lights of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992: former Union ministers L K Advani,MurliManoharJoshi,and UmaBharti,formerChiefMinister ofUttarPradeshKalyanSingh,and former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 30 THECBIcourt’sverdictinacriminalcasedispelsthe28-year-long shadow that hasstalkedthe leading lights of the Sangh Parivar’s ● Ramjanmabhoomimovement which led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. That event,whichcleavedsocietyand politics, and set off violence across the country also cleared the way for what culminated in Prime Minister Narendra Modi E EXPLAINED KAUNAIN SHERIFF M & MANISH SAHU Meticulously planned, Uma took onus: Justice Liberhan laying the first brick for the Ram temple last month. Despite the Supreme Court calling the demolition an “egregious violation of rule of law,” Wednesday’sverdictgivesaninstitutional sheen to the temple movement.Eveningovernment, theBJPalwaysdrewadistinction between being named in a corruption case — a ground for resignation — and being accused in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE BABRI VERDICT CONG, TMC SLAM VERDICT; SP, BSP SILENT FULL COVERAGE PAGE 6 ‘MY MOTHER BEGGED, SAID LET ME TAKE HER HOME’ UP Police out in full force to cremate Hathras woman, away from family Last rites at 3 am, woman’s home barricaded, top officials, 200-plus police on spot AMIL BHATNAGAR & JIGNASA SINHA HATHRAS, SEPTEMBER 30 FROM THE time her body left Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital at 9.30 pm on Tuesday to a hurried cremation in a Hathras village 200 km away at 3.30 am on Wednesday — the final journey of the 19-year-old who was assaulted and allegedly gangraped by four upper caste men was marked by a disregard to protocol and heavy handedness by a police force that did not let her family perform her last rites. The19-year-oldDalitwoman died at 6.55 am on Tuesday at Safdarjung Hospital, where she hadbeenshiftedfromAligarhon Monday night as her condition had deteriorated. Her postmortem was conducted during the day. What transpired after: 9.30 pm: As the body wasreleased and left for Hathras in an ambulance, the family told The Indian Express they were not informed. Instead, accompanying CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 INSIDE The funeral pyre of the Hathras victim, hours later. Amil Bhatnagar SIT set up, but BJP’s Dalit MPs say: Image dented, politically damaging LIZ MATHEW & AVANEESH MISHRA NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, SEPTEMBER 30 AS THE UP government set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman by four upper caste men in UP’s Hathra, and her death, several of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath formed a threemember SIT to investigate the incident and asked it to submit a report within seven days. Facing protests and widespread outrage, the state also CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 MORE REPORTS PAGE 8 Cinemas to open, states can take call on schools: more unlockdown DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 30 BJP APPOINTS FADNAVIS BIHAR POLL IN-CHARGE P 7 BODIES OF RAJOURI LABOURERS TO BE EXHUMED P 9 thestate’sDalitMPsfromtheruling BJP told The Indian Express that the incident has “dented” the administration’s image and is “politically damaging”. The MPs, however, blamed the incident on “deep-rooted casteism and corruption in police” while expressing their confidence in the state government. On Wednesday, following a call from Prime Minister STATES AND Union Territories can take a decision on whether toopenschoolsfromOctober15; cinemas and multiplexes will be allowedtoopenwith50percent capacity from the same date; limits on outdoor gatherings have been removed while indoorsgatheringswillbeallowed with 50 per cent capacity — there are among the new unlockdown guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday evening. The guidelines, which are to come into effect from October 15, alsosay PhD and post-graduate students of science and technology streams — those that may require laboratory work — can open, while a decision to open all colleges “may be taken” by the Department of Higher Education in consultation with the Home Ministry. The MHA has relaxed limits on gatherings, both outdoor and indoor. “Now State/UT Governments have been given the flexibility to permit such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons outside Containment Zones, after15thOctober2020”,theMHA said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Far from justice: Muslim law board asks CBI to appeal order When SC pointed to conspiracy: calculated act, egregious violation ASAD REHMAN ANANTHAKRISHNAN G DESCRIBING THE special court's verdict in the Babri demolition case as “far from justice”, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Wednesday urged the CBI to challenge the ruling “to uphold the law”. TheBoardsaidinastatement issued by its general secretary SyedMohammadWaliRahmani that the verdict was “neither basedon evidence and norin accordance with the law”. “To uphold the rule of law, we urge the CBI to file an appeal,” it said. However, the AIMPLB itself TWO ORDERS of the Supreme Court in the last three years, both relatedtotheAyodhyadisputebut in entirely different matters, pointed to the charge of conspiracy behind the demolition of the BabriMasjidonDecember6,1992. On November 9, 2019, the more recent of the two orders, a Constitution Bench, while awarding the title suit to the Hindu parties and directing that thedisputedlandbehandedover to a trust for construction of a Ram temple, called the destruction of the Babri Masjid a “calculated act” and “an egregious vio- LUCKNOW, SEPTEMBER 30 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 30 lation of the rule of law”. In their 5-0 ruling, the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer said: “During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was broughtdowninacalculatedact of destroying a place of public worship.TheMuslimshavebeen wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago.” The order also recorded: “On 6 December 1992, the structure of the mosque was brought down and the mosque was destroyed. The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Justice Liberhan at his home in Chandigarh. Express MANRAJ GREWAL SHARMA & DIPANKAR GHOSE CHANDIGARH, NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 30 “IFOUNDitwasacivilconspiracy, Istillbelieveinit.Fromalltheevidence produced before me, it was clear that the Babri Masjid demolition was meticulously planned... I remember Uma Bharti categorically took responsibilityforit.Itwasnotanunseen force that demolished the mosque, human beings did it,” Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan told The Indian Express on Wednesday. The Liberhan Commission, set up in 1992 to probe the Babri Masjid demolition, had, in its report submitted in 2009, pointed to the involvement of senior RSS and BJP leaders, including L K Advani,MurliManoharJoshiand Uma Bharti, and connivance of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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