Advani encouraged Babri Masjid demolition, claims key witness

Anju Gupta, a 1990-batch IPS officer, said Sangh activists like Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Rithambhara also made provocative speeches.

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Advani encouraged Babri Masjid demolition, claims key witness

There was no effort from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sangh Parivar leadership to stop the kar sevaks from razing the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Top saffron leaders, including LK Advani, actually encouraged the demolition, the person in charge of Advani’s security on that day has deposed.

The testimony of Anju Gupta, DIG, Research and Analysis Wing, before the CBI court at Rae Bareli on Friday will be an embarrassment to the BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders who have been maintaining brazenly that they did their best to stop the kar sevaks. The testimony also negates the BJP-VHP leaders’ explanation that the demolition of the structure was not planned, and that it was a spontaneous and impulsive act.

Gupta, who was assistant superintendent of police, Faizabad, at the time, was in charge of Advani’s security on December 6, 1992, and is one of the key witnesses in the case. She watched the build-up of events leading to the demolition from close quarters. On Friday, she reiterated what she had already said in an earlier  statement to the CBI. 

Advani’s arrival on the dais erected at the Ram Janki Kunj, just 150 metres from the disputed site, sent a wave of excitement through the kar sevaks, and his speech, emphasising on ‘mandir yahin banayenge’, only instigated them further, the lady officer is reported to have told the CBI court. Vinay Katiyar and other BJP-VHP leaders present on the dais also added to the fervour, she said.
She also said when the kar sevaks started pulling down the structure, all BJP-VHP leaders on the dais looked happy, and even distributed sweets.
She told the court that the kar sevaks had come well-equipped for the job, carrying iron rods, thick ropes with hooks attached, and other metal implements which clearly showed their intention to demolish the structure.
She also pointed out that the local police and the administration did not act in time. The district magistrate and the district police chief came after the dome fell, she stated, adding that they also had a closed-door meeting with Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. She said that her repeated calls to the Ayodhya police control room for back-up force were not heeded.
Gupta is the ninth witness to depose before the court. The CBI has listed as many as 149 witnesses for examination. Advani is one of the eight accused of conspiring to bring down the disputed shrine along with BJP leaders Joshi, Katiyar and Uma Bharti, and VHP leaders Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Giriraj Kishore, Ashok Singhal and Sadhvi Rithambara.

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