Thursday, Jul 07, 2022

Babri Demolition Trial: 'I Am Innocent, Falsely Implicated,' Says Former UP CM Kalyan Singh After Hearing

Kalyan Singh said, 'As the UP chief minister, I and my government ensured adequate three-tier security of the disputed structure in Ayodhya.'

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh (file photo). PTI Photo

Senior BJP leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh on Monday accused the then Congress government at the Centre of levelling "false and baseless allegations" against him in the Babri mosque demolition case and said he was "innocent".

"The then Congress government at the Centre levelled false and baseless allegations against me and filed a case out of political animosity," he told reporters after appearing before a CBI special court in Lucknow in connection with the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

The 88-year-old leader said, "As the UP chief minister, I and my government ensured adequate three-tier security of the disputed structure in Ayodhya.”

Singh, during whose tenure the demolition took place, was assisted by two persons as he walked out of the court after over three-hour-long questioning.

"I was falsely implicated, I am innocent," he asserted as he left the court premises.

The CBI court is currently recording statements of 32 accused under the CrPC Section 313, a stage in the trial that follows the examination of accused.

Other accused, including former deputy prime minister L K Advani and senior BJP leader M M Joshi, are yet to be examined at this stage.

Their lawyers have indicated to the CBI court that they prefer to appear through video conferencing.

Another accused, Ram Chandra Khatri, is presently lodged in a Sonipat jail in Haryana in connection with another case.

The special court had last week reiterated that a reminder should be sent to the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for making arrangements to record his statement through video conferencing.

With regard to another accused, Om Prakash Pandey, the CBI had furnished a report, saying he was untraceable.

Members of the Pandey's family had claimed that he had become a monk years ago and did not come home.

His brother Mahendra Pandey had said he would try to find him and inform the CBI.

The court had then directed the agency to remain in contact with Mahendra Pandey and furnish further report.

The court has already issued a non-bailable warrant against Om Prakash Pandey.

The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished in December 1992 by 'kar sevaks' who claimed that an ancient Ram temple had stood on the same site.

The CBI court is conducting day-to-day hearings to complete the trial by August 31, as directed by the Supreme Court.