Babri demolition was a planned act of sabotage: Cobrapost sting (Roundup)

New Delhi, April 4: The demolition of Babri Masjid was not an act of “frenzied mobs” but of “sabotage” planned months in advance by two Hindu outfits that trained their cadre ahead of the Dec 6, 1992 razing, according to a sting operation by news portal Cobrapost.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) rubbished the sting, terming it a conspiracy against the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election that begins next week, while the Congress said it had exposed the true face of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

“The conspiracy was hatched at the level of two Hindu outfits – the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena – but not jointly. Both these outfits had trained their cadres as part of an action plan, many months before it was implemented on Dec 6,” Cobrapost said Friday.

In an investigation, codenamed Operation Janmabhoomi, Cobrapost claims to establish beyond doubt that the demolition was not an act of frenzied mobs but an act of sabotage planned with so much secrecy that no government agency got wind of it.

The sting operation was carried out by a journalist with the news portal who interviewed 23 of the leaders at the forefront of Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

Among those who were interviewed were BJP leaders Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and Vinay Katiyar.

At a press conference here, Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal screened the recorded interviews in which some low-rung leaders of BJP, VHP and Shiv Sena have claimed that the operation was carried out with precision by their volunteers after going through intensive training and mock drills.

The sting claims that Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of VHP, had trained its cadres in Surkhej in Gujarat and the Shiv Sena in Bhind and Morena in Madhya Pradesh.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi dismissed the revelations, saying they lacked credibility. “The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has not been able to produce any tangible evidence in 22 years,” he said.

Party leader Uma Bharti dismissed the reports as a conspiracy against the party.

“I hold the Congress responsible for this,” she said, while VHP secretary general Chanpat Rai alleged the report was “sponsored and with malafide intentions”.

“It is designed at affecting the poll process and voters. We appeal to the Election Commission to take immediate action in the case,” he said.

Asked about demands that the Election Commission stop telecasting of the sting, Behl said, “We have not got any information from Election Commission regarding this.”

Congress spokespeson Randeep Surjewala said the sting had exposed the “anti-national” face of the BJP and RSS.

“…Narendra Modi is leader of such destructive culture of BJP,” he said.

Earlier in the day, BJP MP R. Ramakrishna wrote to the Election Commission urging it to pass prohibitory orders against the Cobrapost press conference.

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi questioned the timing of the sting operation, saying it was a conspiracy to show the BJP in bad light ahead of elections. He alleged the “sponsored sting operation” was an attempt to inject “poison” in the peaceful and amicable election atmosphere in the country.

BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad said “It is not Cobrapost, it is Congress post. Has Cobrapost done any sting of a big Congress leader? Or on coalgate, Commonwealth Games, Railways or AgustaWestland?”