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Warrants in Babri case

Lucknow, July 14: A special CBI court today issued non-bailable warrants against two sitting BJP MPs and four others who have been skipping hearings in the Babri demolition case despite being accused of involvement in the 1992 assault on the mosque.

Judge Chandramauli Tiwari asked the CBI to ensure they are present when the case — No. 162/92 — comes up at Saturday’s scheduled hearing at the special court here.

The case is one of the two being heard in connection with the Ayodhya demolition. The other, involving the trial of some senior BJP leaders, has been shifted to Rae Bareli.

The two MPs against whom the warrants were issued are Sakshi Maharaj, who was elected from Unnao, near Kanpur, in the recent elections, and Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, who won from Kaiserganj, in the state’s east.

The others are Amarnath Goyal, Jai Bahadur Goyal, Ramchandra Khatri and Pawan Pandey. While the first three are BJP workers, Pandey was in the Shiv Sena when the mosque was attacked on December 6, 1992. Now a BSP leader, he had contested from Sultanpur against Varun Gandhi and lost.

Maharaj had been asked by the same court to appear for trial in March last year but didn’t turn up. It had prompted the court to observe that “he neither was present during hearing nor (was) any application submitted in the court forů exemption (from) appearance”.

The four-time MP, also known as Swami Sachidanand Hari Sakshi, was among 68 people indicted by the Liberhan commission that probed the demolition.

According to the prosecution, Maharaj and Singh were among a few hundred kar sevaks alleged to have taken part in the demolition. Both have claimed they are innocent.