Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao ignored advise by intelligence agencies not to trust BJP leader LK Advani's assurances that no harm would be caused to the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, a top former intelligence officer has claimed.
Advani met Rao on a number of occasions during the Ayodhya controversy "at the latter's request" and assured him that "there would be no damage to the Masjid.
"A Hindu religious leader, who had some friends at the senior levels of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) repeatedly cautioned that Rao should not trust any assurances given by Advani. He expressed his fear that the Hindutva volunteers might demolish the Masjid," B Raman, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, says in his book -- 'The Kaoboys of R&AW - Down the Memory Lane'.
These warnings were conveyed to the then Prime Minister orally, he said.
He said all intelligence agencies had also recommended imposition of President's Rule in Uttar Pradesh, banning of the gathering of 'Hindutva' workers in Ayodhya and sending of central forces to the state.
On Rao's meetings with Advani, he said the then Premier had first requested for a R&AW guest house where he could meet
Advani instead of his official residence. But later, he asked the R&AW to "give him a secret recording device and explain to him how to use it. He wanted to use it for recording his discussions with Advani in his house.
"After the demolition of the Masjid, he returned the device to the R&AW. He did not say whether he had used it and, if so, what happened to the recording. Nor did the R&AW ask him," the former intelligence official said.