A journalist who witnessed the demolition of the Babri Mosque Wednesday told the Liberhan Commission that it was 'planned' and the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were 'jubilant' over the demolition,
with L K Advani even describing it as 'historic'.
Giving an eye-witness account of the happenings on December
6, 1992, Ruchira Gupta, who had covered the event for
Business India magazine, told the commission that when Advani saw some kar sevaks climbing up the domes of the mosque, he had said, '' Unko upar nahin chadhna chahiye. Dhancha to girne hi wala hai.
Unko chot lag sakti hai (They should not climb up. The structure is
soon to fall down. They might get hurt).''
Advani had appealed to the kar sevaks to come down, but nobody listened and more people climbed up, she said. After that, BJP
leaders Uma Bharti and Acharya Dharmendra made similar announcements, added Gupta, who was on the terrace from where the BJP leaders were overseeing the event.
When the first dome fell, Bharti hugged veteran BJP leader and
''master of the ceremony'' Vijaya Raje Scindia, who was ''weeping
Sadhvi Ritambhara told Advani, '' Sarkar to girne hi
wali hai to sasuri masjid ko kyon bachayen (When the government has to go, why save the mosque).'' Scindia, who was standing nearby, agreed with it and said, ''you are right'', Gupta told the
''There was a mood of jubilation on the terrace. While the domes
fell, Advani kept quiet and did not exercise any restraining influence over the crowd, which was very responsive,'' the former BBC
correspondent informed the commission.
She also accused Advani of not making any effort to stop the
attack on journalists, instead offering her sugar, saying, '' Itna bada
din hai, chini khao (It's a big day, have sugar).''
Advani had asked the kar sevaks to put up benches and lie down on roads to block the entry of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). ''Nobody from the armed forces has any right to touch
the kar sevaks,'' she quoted him as saying.
Regarding the planning of the demolition, Gupta said a Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist, who showed the journalists around the kar seva site on December 5, had told her that an engineer had come from Orissa to tell the ''designated kar sevaks'' which point of the Babri mosque should be attacked first to bring down the domes.
When she asked whether the mosque was to be demolished, he said,
''We have done all the planning, and it now left to the leaders to
take a decision,'' she recalled.
Gupta, who is working with UNICEF, told the commission that
Acharya Dharmendra, after consulting Advani, had made an
announcement that photographers should not be allowed to take
pictures of the demolition.
Giving names of various photographers beaten up by the crowd, she
said she was physically assaulted by kar sevaks after being termed a Muslim, when she went inside the masjid to see what was happening there. Her life was saved by a kar sevak known to her, she added.
When approached for help, the police advised them to hand over their
cameras and flee, she recalled.
When she informed Advani that journalists were being attacked
and he should make an announcement asking kar sevaks not to do this, he did not answer, and instead offered her sugar, which was being
Gupta said that after seeing some houses and shops being burnt, she asked the BJP leader why they were being torched. She said that Advani replied, ''Muslims are burning their own shops for compensation.''
When asked if it was not dangerous and
why he was not making an announcement asking them to stop, as they
would have a problem returning, Advani merely said: '' Meri NSG
kahan hai? (Where are my National Security Guards?)'' and left the place, the commission was told.
Earlier, during a number of rallies on December 3, 4 and
5, 1992, Advani had urged kar sevaks to assemble in Ayodhya on December 6. ''We are going to Ayodhya not to do bhajans and kirtans or Jharoo and Pochcha but for kar seva,'' he had said.
He had asked the people to take a vow that '' Kasam Ram ki khate
hain ki mandir wahin banayenge (We swear in the name of Ram that the temple will be constructed in the same place),'' Gupta informed
You may also want to see Masjid demolition illegal: Advani
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