A special Central Bureau of Investigation court has asked senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani, Uma Bharti and MM Joshi to appear before it in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case on May 30. The leaders had moved the court seeking an exemption from personally appearing before it in the case, which it has refused to grant.

In April, the Supreme Court had restored charges of criminal conspiracy against the leaders in the case. It had, however, excluded Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh from its judgment. The top court had also asked the Lucknow-based special court to frame charges against those accused within a month and finish hearing the case within two years, IANS reported.

The Allahabad High Court had acquitted the leaders in 2014, which the CBI had then appealed. Other leaders who had been acquitted include Vinay Katiyar, a BJP MP and the founder-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s youth wing Bajrang Dal, Sadhvi Ritambhara, former VHP senior Vice President Giriraj Kishore, Satish Pradhan and Champat Rai Bansal.

The CBI had accused Advani, Joshi and Bharti of being part of a larger conspiracy wanted them put on trial in the case. On March 6, the court had asked the CBI to file a supplementary chargesheet against the accused, including the conspiracy charges.

This is one of two cases connected with the Babri Masjid demolition. There is a second case against the karsevaks, which is pending in a Lucknow trial court.

On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks, who had gathered at the site from across the country. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country. The karsevaks had claimed that the land on which the mosque stood was the birthplace of Ram.