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Thursday 20th
posted by Morning Star in World

INDIA’S Supreme Court sent four leaders of the ruling Hindu chauvinist BJP party for trial yesterday over the 1992 destruction of a famous mosque.

LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh will now face trial for conspiracy over the mob attack on the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

The act triggered sectarian riots across the country that left 2,000 dead.

The Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision to drop charges against the accused.

It followed demands from the Central Bureau of Investigation that the conspiracy charges against the senior party leaders be reinstated.

The defendants claimed the mosque’s demolition was a spontaneous eruption by angry Hindus, and that it was built on the site of an earlier Hindu temple to the god Ram that was itself demolished.

BJP leaders want to build a new temple to Ram on the site.

The court said that the trial will held in Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow.

Mr Joshi and Mr Bharti are both MPs, and Mr Bharti is also a cabinet minister. Mr Advani is a former deputy prime minister.

Mr Singh was the first minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the attack but is now governor of Rajasthan province, giving him immunity from prosecution until his term ends.

A separate case is already underway involving about 20 people accused of the actual demolition of the mosque.