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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, May 11, 2001: After 8 1/2 long years, the charges against 21 individuals involved directly or indirectly in the demolition of Babri Mosque have been dismissed. On December 6, 1992, a Hindu mob demolished the 16th century masjid in the town of Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds died in the subsequent riots. Criminal cases were put into motion against BJP and VHP leaders as well as police officials and RSS members at the scene of the demolition and the State government proceeded to set up a special court to try the cases. However, a recent ruling by the Allahabad High Court has said, "the government had not fulfilled the mandatory binding of seeking the high court's permission before issuing the notification for the setting up of the special court to hear this case." As a result, the charges against 21 accused including federal Home Minister L.K. Advani have been dropped. The Home Minister's post is akin to that of the Attorney General in the USA but with a broader responsibility for law and order.