The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Support from Andhra for Babri five

Hyderabad, June 9: The five accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case who charged top BJP and VHP leaders with instigating them have found supporters in the south.

“We fully support the statements made by our kar sevaks,” said two former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers who were witness to the December 6, 1992, incident.

The kar sevaks rejected the counsel’s defence of the deputy Prime Minister as a “total lie”.

“What the counsel for deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani told the CBI special court recently is a total lie…”

Adhi Venkateswar Rao, the self-styled national convener of the 13,000-strong Akhila Bharatiya Ayodhya Ram Mandir Kar Sevak Sangh, said the counsel’s charge of a conspiracy to defame Advani was “baseless”.

Rao and T. Venkateswarlu alias Saibaba were among the 25,000 kar sevaks who participated in the demolition at Ayodhya.

Unlike many others, the two — traders by profession — escaped arrest.

“We (Rao and Venkateswarlu) are in full conformity with the statement made by the (five) kar sevaks outside the CBI court,” Rao said.

“All the kar sevaks were divided into groups of 10 each under a captain, and each group had its own task. We were all given hammers and gadepara (crowbars) when we started the walk towards Babri in the morning around 11.”

Showing photographs taken at the mosque site in 1992, Venkateswarlu said all senior leaders — including Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharti — kept advising the kar sevaks right through the march that they should settle the issue for good.

“‘Do not hesitate, and raze the mosque to the ground. It should look as if it did not exist at all tomorrow’,” was their advice, he said.

According to Venkateswarlu, state convener of the Kar Sevak Sangh, the group of kar sevaks woke up at 4 am on December 6 and participated in the shakha (RSS morning drill).

“After breakfast, we started our yatra once again. We were all told to be prepared for any eventuality and accomplish the task. ‘Only you can do it now. If you fail, you can never achieve the Ram Mandir’, we were told,” Venkateswarlu said.

Over a decade later, both the kar sevaks feel cheated that the temple remains a dream despite the so-called sacrifice of thousands of their brothers.

“All the BJP leaders are selfish. We had faith in them. They left us high and dry after achieving their political gains,” Rao said.

He felt the temple would have been a reality by now if a religious institution had taken up the campaign, instead of a political party.

The duo did not spare the RSS, the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad either. “They are politicking over an emotional issue,” said Rao, who was also a courier and water-boy that fateful day.

Rao quit the RSS recently, after almost two decades of service as a full-timer. Venkateswarlu, 65, too, followed in Rao’s steps.

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