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UP police knew Babri could be attacked: IPS officer

Last updated on: April 23, 2010 19:38 IST

A former personal security officer of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani told a special court on Friday that the Faizabad police had intelligence inputs about the possibility of attack on the Babri mosque by "kar sevaks" and its demolition.

"During a review meeting held on December 5 (a day before the dispute structure was demolished in 1992) the then inspector general of the zone A K Saran had said there were intelligence information inputs regarding attack and demolition of the disputed structure," senior Indian Police Service officer Anju Gupta told Chief Judicial Magistrate Gulab Singh.

Gupta, who was Advani's personal security officer in Ayodhya at the time of the demolition, is appearing as a prosecution witness in the special Central Bureau of Investigation court in the case in which the BJP leader, his party colleague Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other Sangh Parivar leaders have been accused of inciting violence that led to the demolition.

Gupta was cross-examined by the defence counsel for over three hours, before the court posted the matter for next hearing on April 29.

The defence counsel asked Gupta whether there were information that operatives of Pakistan's intelligence agency might have reached Ayodhya and made an effort to damage the disputed site by using explosives or any other method.

"Threat from Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence was mentioned by the IG, but he said there was a serious threat from local level (kar sevaks) and there was a strong possibility that they may attack and demolish the structure," she said.

The defence counsel also cross-examined Gupta while comparing her statements before the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department and the court.

On asked whether she told the CBI that Advani expressed his concern when informed that people were falling from the domes of the structure and were getting injured, Gupta said, "I told each and everything to the CB-CID and my statement was recorded under section 161 by the investigating officer."

During her deposition before the court on March 26, Gupta had stated that Advani had given a provocative speech in Ayodhya moments before the mosque 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. He repeatedly said that the temple would be constructed at the same site," Gupta had said.

She reiterated that Uma Bharti and Ritambhara motivated people to demolish the structure.

When asked that there were several omissions in the statement given to the CB-CID as compared to deposition made in the court, including one that security arrangements were not according to threat perception, Gupta said she told the state agency every detail.

"If it's not there in the report then only the investigating officer can tell the exact reason," she said.

"The CBI recorded my statement in connection with Babri mosque demolition case. I cannot specifically tell that in which case it has been used. I am not concealing anything as I have no benefit from this," she said.

On being asked that whether she had any experience of administration's weak writ in Ayodhya before December 6, Gupta said she had one experience on December 5 when her vehicle was stopped.

"But I warned people and informed then senior superintendent of police D B Rai about the incident verbally. There was no need to initiate further action as I strongly reprimanded the trouble makers," she said.

The defence cousel also cross-examined Gupta about her husband Safi Ahsan Rizvi, an IPS officer, and about his current posting while on being deputation.
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