DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2020, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `4.00, 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 conspiringtorazetheBabriMasjidin1992. Anil Sharma/File Justice Liberhan at his home in Chandigarh. Express For Sangh, shadow lifts in criminal case; for Opp, a bind as in temple ruling RAVISH TIWARI & LIZ MATHEW THE EDITORIAL PAGE THEDEMOLITION PAGE 8 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 11 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 basedonevidenceandnorinaccordance 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 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 ‘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: 9.30pm: As the body was released 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 12 Gujarat announces 25% fee cut in pvt schools if half of it is paid by Oct 31 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, SEPTEMBER 30 BJP STRESSES NDA UNITY, APPOINTS FADNAVIS BIHAR POLL IN-CHARGE P 10 NEED RS 100 CR, CLEARANCES TO SAVE INS VIRAAT P 4 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 THE GUJARAT government on Wednesday announced a 25 per cent fee reduction in private schoolsforthecurrentacademic yearacrossallboardsandhasdirected the schools not to charge anyotherfeeunderco-curricular activities The decision came after a series of meetings with associations of private schools and par- ents over the aspect of fees. Also,theschoolswillnothike the fees for this academic session. Those who have already paid the full fees will get the amount reimbursed as per this decision. However, the fee relief comes with the condition that parents have to pay 50 per cent of the fees by October 31 in order to avail this relief. The decision taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani camefollowingtheGujaratHigh Court’s order on September 18 where it had left it on the state government to decide on the school fee relaxation and reduction issue amid the Covid-19 pandemic and reminded that a balanced decision should be takenkeepinginmindtheintent of all stakeholders involved. “The state government had held meetings with the school administrators and parents following the guidelines and judgment of the Gujarat High Court. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ahmedabad
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