Special Central Bureau of Investigation Court judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who is conducting the Babri Masjid demolition trial, has sought protection for himself, PTI reported. This was among five of the judge’s requests to the Uttar Pradesh government.

A bench of Supreme Court Justices RF Nariman and Surya Kant said that the judge had placed his requests in a letter written on July 27 and told the state government to consider all of them within two weeks’ time. The judges said that the requests seemed reasonable.

The Supreme Court also told the state government to pass orders to extend the judge’s tenure within two weeks. The judge is due to retire on September 30. The court had told the state government last month itself to extend Yadav’s tenure till the completion of the trial but the Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party administration has not yet issued an order.

On July 19, the Supreme Court told the special Central Bureau of Investigation court that the judgement in the Babri Masjid demolition case must be delivered within nine months. On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered day-to-day trial in the case, and said it should be concluded within two years. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are parties to the case.

In 2017, the court had also restored criminal conspiracy charges against Advani and Joshi along with Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Vishnu Hari Dalmia. It also restored charges against several other Hindutva leaders who had been acquitted in the case.

Three other high-profile accused – Giriraj Kishore, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia – died during trial and the proceedings against them were abated.

On December 6, 1992, the mosque in Ayodhya was demolished by lakhs of Hindutva activists who had gathered at the site from across the country. According to them, the mosque stood on land that was the birthplace of Hindu deity Ram. The incident triggered communal riots across the country.

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