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Unfazed by the Supreme Court order that she be tried for “conspiracy” in the Babri Masjid demolition case, Union minister Uma Bharti on Wednesday said she is ready to sacrifice her life for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“Grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is my dream. Ready to go to prison or be hanged for India and Ram Mandir,” the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told reporters here. She said she will go to Ayodhya tonight and visit the makeshift temple to seek Ram Lalla’s blessings.
Asserting she was “proud, unapologetic” and does not repent her role in the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign, Bharti said she is ready to face whatever punishments come her way as she fights for the construction of Ram temple.
The water resources minister was speaking after the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the CBI’s plea seeking trial under “conspiracy” charges against BJP leaders L. K. Advani, M M Joshi and her in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
She dismissed the conspiracy charges. “There was no conspiracy. Everything was in the open. I took part in Ram temple campaign with pride and confidence. I had given up the post of chief minister for the sake of the tri-colour,” she said.
“I will do whatever it takes to see the Ram temple is constructed…Ram temple will be built,” Bharti said, adding she was present at the mosque site on 6 December 1992.
The Babri mosque was demolished on the day by a rampaging mob. On the Congress party, Bharti said she will not reply to any of its allegations on the issue. “Sonia Gandhi was at Rajiv Gandhi’s home when the 1984 Sikh riots happened. Does this mean Soniaji was part of conspiracy?” she asked.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad today alleged that the Supreme Court order allowing trial of top BJP leaders in the Babri Masjid case was a “well-thought-out politics” of the Prime Minister to remove L K Advanis name from the Presidential race.
“The CBI is under the influence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It stood in the Supreme Court and sought permission to run trial against Advani and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case,” Prasad alleged.
“Since Advanis name was in circulation as a probable for the post of President, Modi through well-thought-out politics struck out his (Advanis) name,” he alleged.
“It is well known that the CBI does what the government desires,” the RJD chief claimed.
Prasad was reacting to the apex court order today allowing the CBI plea and restoring criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.
“The BJP makes no difference between itself and others while playing dangerous politics against anyone considered opposed to Modi,” he claimed.
A Timeline Of Events:
■ 19 April 2017: SC restores criminal conspiracy charge against leaders including Advani, Joshi and union cabinet minister Uma Bharti in the case and clubs the trial in the matter pending against VIPs and karsevaks.
■ 6 April: SC favours time-bound completion of trial in the case and reserves order on CBI’s plea.
■ 21 March: SC suggests fresh attempts to resolve Ayodhya dispute.
■ 6 March: SC indicates it may consider reviving conspiracy charge against the BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case.
■ 31 March 2015: SC issues notices to senior BJP leaders, including L.K.Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and Kalyan Singh, on a plea not to drop charges of criminal conspiracy against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
■ 3 September 2013: SC advanced by about two months the date of hearing in the Babri Masjid demolition case against L.K. Advani and 19 others after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) pleaded for an early hearing which was not opposed by the senior BJP leader.
■ February 2011: CBI moves Supreme Court against high court order.
■ 28 September 2010: Supreme Court rejects petition for deferment and gives the go-ahead to the Allahabad high court to deliver the judgement on the Ayodhya title issue. The high court chooses 30 September as verdict day.
■ 14 September: A writ is filed to defer the judgement but is subsequently rejected by the high court.
■ 8 September: The High Court announces verdict would be delivered on 24 September.
■ July 2010: Bench reserves its judgement and asks all parties to solve the issue amicably. But no one is keen.
■ 20 May: High court dismisses plea. Says no merit in CBI’s revision petition.
■ June 2009: The Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque’s demolition submits its report—17 years after it began its inquiry. Its contents are not made public.
■ July 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attack the disputed site, using a jeep laden with explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces kill five people they say are militants, and a sixth who was not immediately identified.
■ 2 November 2004: CBI challenges before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, the dropping of proceedings against BJP leaders on technical grounds. Court issues notices.
■ September 2003: A court rules that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri
Mosque, but no charges are brought against Advani, then deputy prime minister, who was also at the site in 1992.
■ 31 August 2003: All India Muslim Personal Law Board announced it would challenge the ASI report.
Earlier, the ASI survey said there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims dispute the findings. Vajpayee says at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans that he will fulfil the dying man’s wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya. However, he hopes the courts and negotiations will solve the issue.
■ April: Three High Court judges begin hearings on determining who owns the religious site.
■ February: BJP rules out committing itself to the construction of a temple in its election manifesto for UP assembly elections. VHP confirms deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers converge on site.
Meanwhile, in a supposedly related incident at least 58 people are killed in an attack on a train in Godhra which was carrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.
■ January: Archaeologists begin a Allahabad high court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram did exist on the site. Meanwhile, PM Vajpayee sets up an Ayodhya cell in his office and appoints a senior official, Shatrughna Singh, to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders.
■ 4 May 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against accused including Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bal Thackeray and others.
■ December 1993: Two FIRs filed in the case. One against unknown karsevaks for demolition of the mosque. The other named BJP leaders Advani, M M Joshi and others for allegedly giving ‘communal’ speeches before demolition.
■ October: CBI files composite charge sheet accusing Advani and others of conspiracy.
■ 6 December 1992: This was the turning point of the entire dispute when Babri mosque was torn down by supporters of the VHP, the Shiv Sena and the BJP, prompting nationwide communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people die.