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Kalyan appears before Liberhan panel
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 2
Twelve years after the demolition of Babri Masjid, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, a key witness in the case, finally appeared before the Liberhan Commission today, promising to depose to the panel tomorrow in an affidavit.

Kalyan Singh, who arrived at Vigyan Bhavan around 12 noon to depose as witness, sought to hear the two audio tapes of his speech made on February 3, 1993 at Kolkata, to enable him to prepare his defence.

The tapes had been placed on record before the panel, probing into the Ayodhya demolition, by former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu as evidence to prove that Kalyan Singh had “admitted” to his involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition.

Kalyan Singh’s evidence is considered as vital in Babri demolition probe, as he was the Chief Minister of UP when the structure was demolished on December 6, 1992.

He was even found guilty of the contempt of court by the Supreme Court for not following its order in letter and spirit regarding protecting the mosque and was sentenced to a day’s imprisonment.

He had all these years resisted summons by the panel and challenged the same in Delhi and Allahabad High Courts.

Kalyan Singh’s counsel B.B. Saxena told Mr Justice M.S. Liberhan, heading the one-man inquiry commission, that the former Chief Minister’s affidavit would be filed only after hearing of the tapes so that he could incorporate in it his defence accordingly.

Accepting his request, the commission played the tapes and also ordered to provide him with its recorded version and the transcript.

However, commission’s counsel Anupam Gupta “reserved” his right to cross-examine Kalyan Singh on the content of the speech as well as the facts to be narrated by him in the proposed affidavit.

In his speech, made at Kolkata after the dismissal of BJP governments in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh in the wake of Babri mosque demolition, Kalyan Singh was heard as saying that he had “no regret for the December 6 incident nor was he ashamed of it”.

He was further heard as saying that he was ready to face the “contempt of court” in the matter.

“Whatever happened on December 6, I have no regret for it, nor am I ashamed of it. On this day people of the country have recognised their self-pride,” Kalyan had said in his speech.

Besides, he had asserted that from the historical events since 1936, when offering of “namaz” was stopped in the disputed structure at Ayodhya, it had practically functioned as temple with the “finding of Lord Rama’s idol in it in 1949” and opening of its gates to Hindus for worship in 1986.

“December 6 incident is not a matter of national shame as some pseudo-secularists are saying. Those who say that it is a matter of national shame, they don’t understand the Indian ethos and culture,” the BJP leader had asserted.


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