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Did Liberhan lie on intelligence?

india Updated: Dec 08, 2009 23:50 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Intelligence agencies had warned the Centre of the volatile situation in Ayodhya in the run-up to the Babri mosque demolition on December 6, 1992.

The Liberhan Commission, which probed the incident, had the evidence on record, but still said the government didn't have enough intelligence to act on.

“It would be difficult for the government of India to accept the confidence of the Uttar Pradesh government that the situation in Ayodhya is under control,” the Intelligence Bureau (IB) said in a confidential report to the Narasimha Rao government on November 28, 1992.

“The matter assumes serious dimensions in view of the inevitable impact on the law and order situation in general and communal situation in particular” the IB said.

This is in sharp contrast to the Liberhan Commission’s findings. On page 923, the report says: “The central government was crippled by the failure of the intelligence agencies to provide an analysis of the situation.”

“In UP, the Centre could not have proceeded to intervene directly unless it had… actionable information,” reads page 844.

Anupam Gupta, the commission’s lawyer between 1999 and 2007, accessed the IB reports, running into 300 pages, from January to December 1992. “Justice Liberhan completely suppressed IB reports and has been very unfair to the intelligence agencies. His conclusion on failure of intelligence agencies is patently untrue,” Gupta said.

The reports show that Justice Liberhan ‘lied’, as the entire file was placed on the commission’s records, he said.

The reports, prepared by senior IB officials, were sent to the officials in the Prime Minister's Office and ministry of home regularly through 1992, particularly in the months of November and first week of December, he said

The reports by then IB joint director N. C. Padhi and deputy director V. Rajgopal, between November 25-28 are alarming (see box).

Padhi reported the number of kar sewaks (volunteers for Ram temple) in Ayodhya swelling to 200,000 on December 4. He was authorised by the IB director to testify before the commission, Gupta said.

Then home secretary K. Padmanabhiah and Padhi in the affidavits filed before the commission on June 28, 1994 requested that the reports be kept secret.

The commission, said Gupta, rejected the plea in September 1996.

Justice Liberhan declined comment.