Home Indian Muslim Advani ‘euphoric’ on Babri demolition day, says eyewitness cop

Advani ‘euphoric’ on Babri demolition day, says eyewitness cop


Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh) : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani “looked euphoric” as he declared in Ayodhya on Dec 6, 1992, shortly before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, that a Ram temple would be built on the site, police officer Anju Gupta testified before a court here Friday.

Gupta, who was then posted as assistant superintendent of police (ASP) in Ayodhya, was deposing before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in this town, about 85 km from the state capital Lucknow.

The senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer did not mince words while describing the excitement in the top brass of the BJP on the day the Babri Masjid was demolished by violent radical Hindu activists.

“Advani not only looked euphoric but also declared before the huge crowds at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 that the Ram temple would be built at the disputed site in the temple town,” she said during her two-and-half hour testimony.

Advani, Gupta said, “gave quite a provocative speech for which he was applauded by his other party colleagues and the crowds”.

“There were at least 100 persons present on the dais along with Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Rithambara, Ashok Singhal, S.C. Dikshit, and I remember their faces so distinctly that I would be able to still recognise at least 80 of them.

“There was so much excitement among the crowds that they distributed sweets after the mosque was pulled down,” she added while giving testimony on what she saw on the day.

Her statement indicated that Advani may not have had any direct involvement in the demolition but he fueled the fire and paved the way for the mosque destruction.

A deputy inspector general of police (DIG) currently attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), she arrived at the court premises around 11 a.m. and was ushered in under heavy police escort.

Gupta also said that it was Advani and Uma Bharti who urged the “karsewaks” to descend from the domes of the 16th century mosque. They could be seen with rods, spades, hammers and even ropes.

“Mr Advani was very keen to go right up to the disputed structure to persuade karsewaks standing atop the mosque to come down but I advised him not to do so as it could be very unsafe for him,” she told the court.

“However, he told Uma Bharti to proceed; and on return from the disputed structure, she told Mr Advani that she had advised the karsewaks to get down as it would make more sense for them to perform the ‘karsewak’ from below,” Gupta said, in an apparent indication that the two leaders might have been aware of the larger plan to bring down the structure from its base.

The special CBI court had earlier discharged Advani on the plea that charges against him were based on mere suspicion. This followed dropping of the serious charge of criminal conspiracy under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by CBI on the directives of the Allahabad High Court.

Eight witnesses have deposed before the court in the case regarding the conspiracy to demolish the mosque; 32 are yet to record their statements.

Gupta, whose statement could complicate issues for the BJP and its top brass, later told IANS: “I have said what I had stated years ago, giving an eyewitness account of whatever I saw on Dec 6, 1992.”

In New Delhi, the BJP Friday refused to comment on the statement.

“The BJP won’t comment on that,” BJP spokesperson Ramnath Kovind told reporters here when asked about the party’s reaction.