The 1992 Babri Mosque demolition was an "act of planned sabotage" and not a by frenzied mob of Hindu outfits, a news portal claimed on Friday on the basis of a sting operation it had carried over a period of two years.
At a press conference in New Delhi, Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal screened the recorded interviews in which some low rung leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and the Shiv Sena have claimed that the operation was carried out with precision by their volunteers after going through intensive training and mock drills.
Among those who were interviewed were BJP leaders Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and Vinay Katiyar, who talked about the the events in the run up to the demolition. Behl rejected the BJP's charge that the sting operation was being made public at the behest of Congress for polarising elections.
Asked about the BJP's demand that the Election Commission stop the telecasting of the sting operation, he said, "We have not got any information from Election Commission regarding this.
"Our stand is that it is the responsibility of the media. We are not contesting the elections. Our aim is to bring out the truth and that is what we have shown. Truth is bitter to some people. Whichever authority demands tapes from us, we will provide it to them."
Codenamed 'Operation Janmabhoomi' was based on the interview of 23 leaders who were allegedly in the forefront of the demolition for which a conspiracy was hatched at the level of two Hindu outfits, the VHP and the Shiv Sena, but not jointly.
The "confessions" named BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others for "secretly planning" out the demolition in an elaborate way, the news portal said. The tapes claimed that even the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh and former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao had was in the know about the imminent demolition.
The tapes claimed that even the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh and former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao had was in the know about the imminent demolition.
The investigation claimed that the entire "sabotage" was planned with so much secrecy that no government agency got a wind of it. After many years of investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation has not been able to find clinching, corroborative evidence against all those 40 it has made accused in its chargesheet, it claimed.
The Cobrapost claimed that out of the 23 who were "were involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid, either as conspirators or as executors" and interviewed, 12 were from Bjrang Dal-VHP–BJP combine, five from Shiv Sena and the rest from other Hindu religious outfits.
The Cobrapost claimed that both the Hindu outfits had trained their cadre as part of an action plan many months before it was implemented on December 6 and even a 'balidani jatha' (suicide squad) was also formed with the trained RSS workers.
The Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the VHP, had its training in Surkhej of Gujarat, while Shiv Sena trained its cadre in Bhind–Morena. An oath (sankalp) for the construction of a grand Ram Temple at the disputed site after removing the structure was also administered to 'karsevaks' in the presence of L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore and Acharya Dharmendra, apart from the entire galaxy of Hindu leaders, the investigation revealed.
While the VHP brought together around 1,200 RSS workers and named it 'Laxman Sena' with a clarion call or secret code of 'Jai Sheshavtaar', Shiv Sena meanwhile had a similar band of local workers at Ayodhya and had named it Pratap Sena. The investigation claimed that while Shiv Sena had planned to use dynamite to bring down Babri if traditional methods failed, a Bihar team used petrol bombs to dismantle the structure.
"There are two more persons who were responsible for Babri demolition as both were keeping a close watch on the developments but did nothing -- Kalyan Singh, then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had knowledge before hand of what was going to happen.
Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, a former BJP member of Parliament, claimed in the tapes," On the December 5 night itself Kalyan Singh was informed of it and he was told that if need be the structure would be felled. Now, you decide what you have to do)."
The Cobrapost also spoke to Sakshi Maharaj, another former BJP MP, also claimed in the interview of having given Kalyan Singh a minute-by-minute account of the developments. The sting operation claimed that the allegations of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao having a hand in the demolition were found to be true as certain leaders Vinay Katiyar, B L Sharma, Santosh Dubey, Sakshi Maharaj and Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti "openly acknowledged" Rao’s supportive role.
Image: Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal