The demolition of the Babri mosque was planned to the last detail and Justice M.S. Liberhan, who probed the matter, was told so, former BJP member of Parliament Ram Vilas Vedanti has said.
Vedanti, one of the 68 people to be indicted by the Liberhan panel, said he supervised the demolition.
“Hang me if you can. I stick to my words,” Vedanti, also a member of the Ram Janambhoomi Nyaas, told a gathering at the local headquarters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Saffron leaders were in Karsewakpuram to mark the 17th anniversary of the demolition.
Vedanti, however, refused comment if top BJP leaders, including L.K. Advani, knew that the mosque would be razed.
They were there making speeches and when kar sewaks climbed the dome, the leaders asked them to come back, he said.
“But I kept exhorting them to go on. In fact I stayed back till the night on December 7, till the structure was demolished, land levelled.”
Vedanti claimed that the then prime minister, Narasimha Rao, had asked him to ensure that the mosque was demolished. “I met Rao at the PM’s Office on November 20, 1992. He asked us whether we would be doing anything in Ayodhya. I told him that the structure would be demolished on December 6, 1992.”
When asked how he could level charges against a person who was dead and couldn’t defend himself, he said, “It’s not a baseless charge.” Rao had called him up on December 6, 1992 also, he claimed.
“If Justice Liberhan could take 17 years to come up with such a biased report, then what’s wrong if I chose to speak the truth after all these years,” he shot back when asked why he had remained silent for so long.
The Babri Masjid Action Committee Faizabad/Ayodhya chapter chairman Mohd. Yunus Siddiqui and convener Mohd. Afaaq Khan, too, had doubts about the Centre’s role.
President’s Rule was imposed in the state on the evening of December 6, 1992. But over the next two days, the ground was levelled and a makeshift temple built. “There was more to the demolition than meets the eye,” Siddiqui said.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the Ram Janambhoomi Nyaas president, insisted there was no plan. “Had that been so, people would have come with spades, shovels and other things… It was a spontaneous act.”