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Babri Masjid demolition
How the ‘sting’ elaborates on Liberhan panel’s conclusions
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The sting operation carried out by Cobrapost on the demolition of Babri Masjid has once again placed the BJP in dock. The news portal’s report only substantiates what Liberhan Ayodhya Commission concluded around five years ago - the preparation was accomplished with phenomenal secrecy; and Kalyan Singh’s government was the essential component needed by the Sangh Parivar for its purposes.

A conjoint reading of both reports not only castigates the BJP, but also reveals that the preparations began early. Besides this, sympathetic administration and police force only facilitated the demolition.

The portal on Friday had reported that Babri Masjid demolition was an “act of planned sabotage” and not by a frenzied mob of Hindu outfits as claimed. Cobrapost claimed that the report was based on sting operation “conducted over two years''. The Cobrapost report, as such, can best be construed as an expression of the portal’s views on the issue based on its findings. The Tribune does not subscribe to the same.

The reports

The only difference in the two reports hovers around the conspiracy angle. Cobrapost says: “All major leaders interviewed describe the various aspects of the movement, and between their claims and counterclaims one has to read the subtext to ascertain their involvement in the larger conspiracy and execution, so subtle are their answers at times to pinpointed questions.”

Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, who probed the 1992 demolition of Babri mosque at Ayodhya, on the other hand, did not report conspiracy, as information to this effect was never provided.

In Chapter 1 (page No. 15), Justice Liberhan says: “No evidence, lead or information was provided to the commission with respect to the conspiracy or pre-planning or the joint common enterprise…” The commission also noted “Home Secretary Godbole stated that there was no information of planning and as such it could not be inferred that there was a conspiracy of the Congress and BJP for demolition.”

Laissez faire

Justice Liberhan has asserted Kalyan Singh maintained a “studied silence” even at the height of the crisis in December 1992 and “refused to allow even a single measure which might impede the Ayodhya campaign or prevent the assault on the disputed structures, the journalists or the innocent people”.

The report says: “The Chief Minister and his Cabinet were the proverbial insiders who caused the collapse of the entire system.”

Moreover, the government “systematically and in a pre-planned manner removed inconvenient bureaucrats from positions of power, dismantled and diluted the security apparatus and infrastructure, lied consistently to the high court and the Supreme Court of India and to the people of India to evade constitutional governance and thus betrayed the confidence of the electorate”.

Echoing similar sentiments, the Cobrapost report says the approach was diametrically different from the one the local administration had in 1990, when an attempt to bring down the mosque failed.

Kalyan Singh had foreknowledge, but chose to look the other way round. He was on the night of December 5, 1992, that the structure would be felled if need be; and he was to decide the course of action.

“It is learned that at one point, Kalyan Singh had made up his mind to resign in the morning on December 6 when he came to know an assault on the disputed structure has begun, but senior leaders of the RSS like H. V. Sheshadri and Murli Manohar Joshi dissuaded him, while BJP leaders in Lucknow made him captive the whole day until a clean job of the mosque had been made at Ayodhya,” the report asserts.

On the removal of inconvenient officers, the report says a “sympathetic” administration and police force made the job easier for the zealots. Instead of discharging their constitutional obligations, they were goading the karsevaks to remove the “headache” the Babri had become for them.

The preparations

Justice Liberhan says in the report: “The preparation was accomplished with phenomenal secrecy, was technically flawless with consistency and assured results....

The Cobrapost reiterates the findings by asserting that the Bajrang Dal in June, 1992, conducted month-long military style training for 38 of its cadre chosen from various regions. The conspiracy to demolish the Masjid was hatched at the top level and those recruited for training did not know it till the countdown for mosque’s fall began a month before in November.

Rather, how and when skills like climbing taller structures with the help of grappling hooks and ropes would be put to use was not revealed till top VHP office bearers asked them to form Laxman Sena with the specific purpose of dismantling the disputed structure.





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