BJP leader Kalyan Singh appears before Babri mosque trial court

Lucknow: Senior BJP leader Kalyan Singh on Monday appeared before the special CBI court here in connection with the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case.

The 88-year-old former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and former Rajasthan Governor arrived at the court to record his statement before the CBI special judge.

The CBI court is currently recording the statements of 32 accused under CrPC section 313 (court’s power to examine the accused), a stage in the trial that follows the examination of accused.

Other alleged accused, including former deputy prime minister L K Advani and senior BJP leaders 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 after his family claimed that he had renounced the world and became a seer and had not come home for years.

His brother Mahendra Pandey had said that he would try to find out the whereabouts of his brother 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.