RELIGION

India BJP leaders face conspiracy trial in 1992 mosque case

  • FILE - In this July 28, 2005 file photo, Indian opposition leader and President of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, second right, senior BJP leaders Uma Bharati, right, Kalyan Singh, second left, and Murli Manohar Joshi wave to people during a public rally in Rae Bareilly, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. India's top court said Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that the four senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy over the destruction of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, an event that sparked bloody nationwide rioting. Of the four main leaders who will now stand trial, Singh is currently the governor of an Indian province, and the constitution protects him from criminal trial. Therefore his trial will start after his term ends. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh, File)

    FILE - In this July 28, 2005 file photo, Indian opposition leader and President of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, second right, senior BJP leaders Uma Bharati, right, Kalyan Singh, second left, and Murli Manohar Joshi wave to people during a public rally in Rae Bareilly, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. India's top court said Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that the four senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy over the destruction of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, an event that sparked bloody nationwide rioting. Of the four main leaders who will now stand trial, Singh is currently the governor of an Indian province, and the constitution protects him from criminal trial. Therefore his trial will start after his term ends. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 14, 2009 file photo, India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani gestures during an event to mark the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a prominent freedom fighter and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, at the party office in New Delhi, India. India's top court said on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that several senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, including Advani, will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy to destroy a 16th-century mosque in 1992. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, File)

    FILE - In this April 14, 2009 file photo, India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani gestures during an event to mark the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a prominent freedom fighter and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, at the party office in New Delhi, India. India's top court said on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that several senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, including Advani, will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy to destroy a 16th-century mosque in 1992. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, File)  (The Associated Press)

India's top court says several senior leaders of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy to destroy a 16th century mosque in 1992.

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that the trial will held in the northern city of Lucknow and should wrap up in two years. A lower court had earlier dropped conspiracy charges against senior party leaders including L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti.

Hindu groups say the Babri Mosque was built after a temple dedicated to the Hindu god King Rama was destroyed by Muslim invaders.

The destruction of the mosque sparked riots across India that left at least 2,000 people dead.

The case has been languishing in India's sluggish legal system for almost 25 years.