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Who leaked the report?

The Justice M.S. Liberhan Commission has not directly indicted former prime minister and ailing BJP veteran Atal Behari Vajpayee for the demoliiton of the Barbi Masjid nearly 17 years ago on December 6, 1992.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2009 00:00 IST
HT Correspondent

The Justice M.S. Liberhan Commission has not directly indicted former prime minister and ailing BJP veteran Atal Behari Vajpayee for the demoliiton of the Barbi Masjid nearly 17 years ago on December 6, 1992.

The commission noted his “physical absence” from Ayodhya on December 6.

But the one-man commission, which probed the demolition and the events leading to it, put Vajpayee on the list of 68 people “individually culpable” for bringing the country to the “brink of communal discord”, according to its confidential report, accessed by NDTV news channel.

Then prime minister, the late P. V. Narasimha Rao, however, escaped unscathed as the commission took the view that he could not have acted unless the Uttar Pradesh governor had recommended central intervention, as provided for in the Constitution.
But Rao’s government didn’t get a complete clean chit. The report said the Centre was found “day-dreaming”.

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on Monday following publication of the confidential report in Indian Express. The findings ran into 900 pages contained in 17 volumes.

The commission severely indicted senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and M.M. Joshi, former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore and Sadhvi Rithambara for their presence and role in the demolition.

It charged the BJP with having made “false promises” and “misled” the Centre. It said the BJP created a “time saving façade” to “lull the Centre into inaction”.

It also slammed the UP police and administration for having remained “mute spectators, their loyalty to the political masters was writ large”.

Coming down heavily on the role of the them CM, Kalyan Singh, the report said, “The CM was intentionally and inexplicably complacent even in these circumstances.”

It concluded that there is “no difference” in the agendas of the BJP and the RSS, and logistical arrangements for demolition were coordinated between these saffron outfits, including the VHP.

The Commission, which holds the record for being the longest serving probe panel in the country’s history with 48 extensions in 17 years, termed the demolition as a “tailor made exercise.”

The demolition was “neither spontaneous nor unpreventable,” Justice Liberhan, a former High Court judge, said in the report.