Rae Bareli: A senior police officer on Friday told a special court that senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani gave a provocative speech in Ayodhya moments before the Babri Masjid was demolished by sangh parivar activists.
"On December 6, 1992, Advani made a spirited speech from Ram Katha Kunj Manch (dais), barely 150-200 metres from the disputed site which charged the people,” said Anju Gupta, a 1990-batch IPS officer, before Chief Judicial Magistrate Gulab Singh.
"He repeatedly said that the temple would be constructed at the same site," Gupta told the special CBI court in Bareli in her two-hour-long deposition.
Gupta, who was Advani’s personal security officer in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, appeared as a prosecution witness in a case in which the former deputy prime minister, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other sangh parivar leaders have been accused of inciting violence that led to the demolition.
Gupta, who is posted with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Delhi, said Joshi, Bharti, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambhara also made provocative speeches.
"When the structure was being demolished, the leaders on the dais looked happy. They hugged each other, sweets were being distributed and there was an atmosphere of celebration while they were provoking 'kar sevaks' to demolish the structure.
"Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Rithambhara also hugged each other and congratulated Advani and Joshi. None of the leaders present at the spot made any effort to stop the demolition," Gupta said.
Advani was discharged in the case in 2002 after conspiracy charge was dropped, but, three years later the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court reinstated the charges of intentionally provoking people into rioting, arson and indulging in rioting with intent to create disorder as well as creating discord among communities.
Gupta, who was then posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Faizabad, was on special duty entrusted with the security of Advani.
Gupta said when Advani and Joshi reached the mosque, Katiyar was already making a speech in which he sarcastically said: "even a bird cannot flap its wings here".
Joshi, she said, told the gathering that the temple would be constructed at the same site where the mosque existed.
When she went to bring Advani's fleet of vehicles parked near the police control room, for the first time she saw people scaling the walls of the disputed structure between 11:50 AM and 12 noon.
"I saw some people carrying equipment used to demolish a building like iron rods and ploughs," she said adding, she immediately tried to contact the police control room on witnessing the demolition activity at the spot.
"Around 12:10 PM, I gave my location to the Control Room and requested for force, but got no positive response. I again contacted the Control Room at 12:31 PM and made repeated requests."
Gupta said when she came back to Ram Katha Kunj, she saw that people had already climbed the structure and were destroying it continuously. "I saw that there was an atmosphere of excitement on the dais where the leaders were present."
She said on the basis of wireless information, she informed Advani that some people have entered the disputed structure and were demolishing it.
"I told him that people were falling from the domes of the structure and were getting injured on which Advani expressed concern and expressed his willingness to go to the site. But, I advised him against this," she said.
After consultation with senior officials, Gupta said the BJP leader was told that it was not desirable for him to go as if there was any mishap involving him, it may make the situation go out of control.
Advani then sent Bharti there but she came back after some time.
Gupta said while the BJP and Sangh leaders continued to provoke, the people razed the structure to the ground. The first dome was demolished between 1:45 PM and 2 PM and the third and the last one came down at 4:30 PM.
She said Advani asked her to arrange a telephonic talk with Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and the District Magistrate and SSP of Faizabad.
She said she was not in a position to do so. However, the DM and SSP came to Ram Katha Kunj office after messages were sent to them and they had a closed-door meeting with Adavni and others.
"I came to know that Advani later had a telephonic conversation with the Chief Minister," she said.
At the end of her deposition, the defence lawyer started cross-examination of Gupta which will be resumed on April 23.