Ayodhya demolition case hearing on Jan 19

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Rae Bareli, Jan 4 (UNI) The court today fixed the next hearing in the Ayodhya demolition case to January 19.

Meanwhile, the statement of then CRPF deputy commandant R K Swami was recorded as a witness to the case.

He told the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Vanshraj that the order for lathicharge on the karsewaks, trying to scale the walls of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992, was issued by the then magistrate.

However, the defence counsel said under sections 16 and 17 of the CRPF Act, the commandant or the deputy commandant was competent to order lathicharge, firing or use of teargas shells to maintain law and order, and an order by a civil administration officer was not required.

The counsel maintained that the Act also had a provision, that the concerned commandant or the deputy commandant would not be held guilty, even if the action turned out to be wrong.

Further, Mr Swami told the court that 25 days after the incident, the CB-CID had recorded his statement and that he had sustained wounds in the lathicharge.

Former deputy prime minister and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP president Ashok Singhal, VHP leaders Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Sadhvi Ritambhara and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti are the accused in the demolition case.

UNI XC-VS MSJ KP2046

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