The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ayodhya crusader pushes for Atal quiz

New Delhi, June 30: Mohammad Aslam, alias Bhure, today moved an application before the Liberhan Commission, asking that A.B. Vajpayee, .K. Advani and Kalyan Singh be summoned for questioning.

The move follows Kalyan’s recent allegation that Advani had ordered kar sevaks to demolish the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992 and that Vajpayee was aware of the conspiracy.

It was Bhure’s petition that led the Supreme Court to stay all activities, even on the undisputed land, in Ayodhya.

Senior counsel for Bhure, .P. Sharma, today filed three separate applications urging the commission, which is probing the circumstances leading to the December 6 demolition, to summon the trio. The applications will come up for hearing on July 10.

On June 20, Kalyan alleged that the mosque was demolished under the directions of Advani and other senior Sangh parivar leaders and that they, together with Vajpayee, were “part of the conspiracy” to demolish the masjid.

Kalyan said the leaders had not taken him into confidence though he was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

He added that on their assurance, he had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, giving an undertaking that the mosque would be protected. Kalyan had accused top Sangh leaders of betraying him.

But the Centre has rebutted Kalyan’s allegations and asserted before the commission that the leaders had no role in the demolition.

Counsel for the Centre, Lala Ram Gupta, said sadhus and sants led the Ayodhya movement whose aim was to arrive at a consensus with Muslims for constructing a Ram temple.

Gupta tried to turn the tables on Kalyan, saying Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi had advised the then chief minister to resign as he had “failed to live up to his assurance to protect the disputed structure”.

The counsel said Vajpayee and Advani had told Kalyan to take the necessary steps to ensure the mosque was protected.

“The responsibility and duty of making all security arrangements lay with the state government and the administration (headed by the chief minister),” Gupta said.

After the demolition, “Singh accepted the advice (to quit) and resigned with his council of ministers”, the counsel said.

In his written submission, Gupta told the commission that Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti never made any provocative “anti-Muslim” speech. To support his argument, the counsel quoted the reports of then BBC correspondent Mark Tully and Polish author Koenraad Elst’s book Saffron Swastika as saying the “leader of the Ayodhya campaign, .K. Advani, was never caught in the act of making a single anti-Muslim remark”.

Gupta added: “Joshi advocated that the Ayodhya issue be settled through negotiation or legislation and never by force. In fact, both Advani and Joshi during their rath yatra (in 1990) asked kar sevaks not to proceed towards Ayodhya.”

The counsel said Advani and Joshi tried desperately to contact Kalyan in order to control the mob but the telephones were not working. By the time they contacted Kalyan, it was too late.

Panel term extended

The term of the commission has been extended by six months. A home ministry notification said here today: “The term of the Liberhan Ayodhya commission of inquiry has been further extended up to December 31, 2003.”

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