Sept. 30 (UPI) — An investigative court in India on Wednesday acquitted nearly three dozen people who were accused in the destruction of a historic mosque nearly three decades ago, due to a lack of evidence.
The Central Bureau of Investigation court made the ruling to acquit all 32 defendants in the case of the 1992 demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid mosque.
The accused, which included senior members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Party, had been charged with conspiracy and inciting a Hindu riot that destroyed the mosque in Ayodhya, about 80 miles from Lucknow.
The mosque was built in 1528 but destroyed by those who claimed it was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.
The decision is the latest over a disputed area that’s caused debate between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority. Last year, the Indian Supreme Court gave the site of the former mosque to Hindus in a move that concluded years of legal wrangling.
The court at the time gave Muslims another plot of land in Ayodhya on which to construct a new mosque.
Many were unhappy with the verdict.
Randeep Surjewala of India’s Congress Party said it was an “egregious violation of the law” that violated India’s “constitutional spirit.” Sitaram Yehchury of the Communist Party of India called it “a complete travesty of Justice.”