What can one say about the wisdom of a judge who damages his own case before his verdict concerning others! After 17 long years and eight crore rupees of public money Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan has delivered to the country an over 1,000 page report on the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition that is full of howlers. According to the Liberhan Commission report, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 31, 1948. Names of the same persons are spelt differently in different places; designations too are mixed up on occasions. Looks like the learned judge could not be bothered with reading his own report before placing it before the nation.
Not surprisingly, those indicted, and rightly so, have latched on to the howlers to dismiss the entire report as lacking credibility. But though Justice Liberhan’s callousness is indefensible, his report remains an evidence-backed damnation of those who took the Indian Republic to the brink in December 1992. Not only was the Babri Mosque demolished in full public view on December 6, it also created the communal climate that made possible the pogrom against Mumbai’s Muslims in December 1992-January 1993 and the Muslims of Gujarat 10 years later.
Reading the report is like watching a horror film with an unfolding evil plot, step-by-step. Until 1983 when the VHP decided to jump on to the bandwagon, the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi dispute remained a local issue that agitated some residents of Ayodhya… and Faizabad district at most. By 1989, however, a multitude of ordinary Hindus from across the country had been transformed into a frenzied mob that converged on Ayodhya again and again with a single object: construction of a Ram Mandir on the very spot where the Babri Masjid had stood for a few hundred years. Mission demolition on December 6, 1992 was the logical culmination and climax of a hate-driven agenda.
If the criminal intent of the various constituents of the sangh parivar and its ally the Shiv Sena was public knowledge the contribution of the report lies in establishing in great detail how a malevolent intent was translated into malicious action in such a short period as the institutions of State sworn to protect constitutional values and provisions – Union government, Parliament, the Supreme Court of India, the governor of Uttar Pradesh – stood as "helpless" spectators while corresponding institutions and individuals with similar obligations at the state level – chief minister Kalyan Singh, his cabinet, senior to top level civil servants and police officers – acted instead as the private army of a campaign brimming with contempt for the rule of law. If the Liberhan report provides us overwhelming evidence of the acts of commission of those guilty of the criminal act, far more damning is the evidence it marshals against those whose acts of omission made it possible.
It has been the plea of the BJP and the RSS ever since December 1992 that mosque demolition was never on their agenda. To puncture this claim, Justice Liberhan asks a simple question: why then were tens of thousands of kar sevaks mobilised to descend in Ayodhya repeatedly, indoctrinated with incendiary slogans till a very large number of individuals had turned into a hate-filled frenzied mob, straining at the leash? Justice Liberhan does not buy the innocence plea.
From the evidence gathered before the commission it was more than apparent well before December 6 that the plan for that day was anything but a "symbolic kar seva". What’s more, the report points out that much of this information was already in the public domain. By December 2, if not earlier, it was so easy to anticipate the climax of this dance of the macabre on December 6. Why then did the Union government, the Allahabad High Court, the Congress-appointed governor of UP, the Supreme Court of India not intervene?
Justice Liberhan seems over-eager to give the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao (and the Congress party?) a clean cheat. "In 1992, the central government had been blinded and handicapped by the inaction of its own agent (governor) in the state and by the unfathomable trust the Supreme Court placed in the paper declarations of the sangh parivar". But he is not so sparing with other agents of State. Here are his parting words: "the intransigent stance of the High Court of Uttar Pradesh, the obdurate attitude of the governor (of UP), the inexplicable irresponsibility of the Supreme Court’s observer (sent to Ayodhya) and the short-sightedness of the Supreme Court itself are fascinating and complex stories, the depths of which I must not plumb... (But) historians, journalists and jurists may – and should – explore these dimensions and tell these untold stories for the benefit of the current and unborn generations".
In short, the Liberhan Commission tells us that our constitutional edifice today stands on shaky pillars – legislature, executive, judiciary – of State. Unless the System addresses the rot within and secures its porous borders from pretentious infiltrators, there’s little hope of meeting the challenge from without.
We reproduce in this issue excerpts from the Liberhan Commission’s Report with a few obvious corrections and clarifications.
1.1 For some, the temptation of power is supreme. The usual means for acquiring power is through politics. There is always an urge and quest to use politics for acquiring power and for one’s own purpose – nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved… Objectivity or intellectual honesty or logic is lost in the process. To acquire political power or achieve politically desirable results, the Constitution, law, written or unwritten moral ethics, the epics, are contemptuously ignored. A healthy or legitimate process of governance is not cared for and political neutrality is lost.
1.2 The demolition of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid took place on the 6th of December 1992 in the presence of national and local leadership. Cadres of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal (BD), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena (SS) along with their leaders were present at the spot. They either actively or passively supported the demolition. The other protagonists of the temple construction movement, including preachers, sadhus and sants, administrative and police officers, the media and the kar sevaks, were also present. In the process all acts were directed for or to acquire political power and thereby achieve politically desirable results. It was carried out in full view of national and international audiences, television and other media persons. The executive, political or bureaucratic, took no effective steps to stop or prevent the demolition or even to apprehend the perpetrators of the demolition.
1.3 A large section of society claimed that this demolition of the disputed structure was one of the worst catastrophes for the nation, mankind, good governance, secularism and for a society governed by the rule of law. It was a defacement of the country at international fora, an act of violence against the very fundamental rights and against the concept of reasoned argument for political change. It was one of the worst abhorrent acts of religious intolerance in the history of the nation and the Hindu religion. The aftermath of the demolition provoked communal riots all over the country, which were witnessed with shock and disbelief. Various commissions, etc were later appointed to go into the communal aspect of the riots.
1.4 Various speculations were made in the context of the frequent conflicting reports that followed the demolition. The possibility of a conspiracy, domestic or foreign or political, seized public attention and raised questions about its extent and otherwise. All this stimulated suspicion and fuelled rumours. With such a large number of people participating from all over the country in the construction movement, either in favour of the movement or against it, it was
not possible to arrive at a complete story through the normal judicial process. The nation as such needed to find out the facts which had resulted in the dilution of constitutional secularism, proudly claimed on public platforms by one and all. Practically, it became increasingly more desirable to find out the truth in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. It is the desire of humanity, believing in peaceful coexistence, to ensure that such acts are not
2. The mandate of the commission
[The central government appointed a] one-man judicial commission… in conformity with the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952, to inquire into the following issues:
2.1.1 The sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances relating to, the occurrence in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex at Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992 involving the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure;
2.1.2 The role played by the chief minister, members of the council of ministers, officials of the government of Uttar Pradesh and by the individuals, concerned organisations and agencies in or in connection with the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure;
2.1.3 The deficiencies in the security measures and other arrangements as prescribed or operated in practice by the government of Uttar Pradesh which might have contributed to the events that took place in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid complex, Ayodhya town and Faizabad, on 6th December, 1992;
2.1.4 The sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances relating to, the assault on media persons at Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992; and
2.1.5 Any other matter related to the subject of inquiry. …
17.1 The conduct and culpability of the protagonists and he architects of the events of the 6th of December 1992 must be understood and analysed not only from the actual events themselves but also from their conduct, speeches and acts of commission as well as acts of omission over a period of time. …
18.5 For centuries this was a local religious issue confined only to Ayodhya, at the most to the Faizabad division. It was to later transform into not only a national political issue but also an internationally communal issue which was to shape the contours of the democracy of India.
18.6 In the year 1528 the Mughal emperor, Babar, ordered his commander, Mir Baqi, to erect a mosque at Ayodhya. Protagonists of the present movement claimed that after demolishing the temple at the birthplace of Ram, Mir Baqi constructed the mosque i.e. the “disputed structure”.
18.7 The British rulers of the time later divided the area into two parts, one comprising of the structure described by the VHP as the “Babri structure” and the other comprising of the “Ram Chabutra” and “Sita Ki Rasoi”, with a courtyard where Hindus used to perform puja. The structure stood divided into inner and outer courtyards by a railing…
18.8 Worship of idols installed on the Ram Chabutra by Hindu devotees in general was performed for a considerable period. There were no objections from the Muslims staking the counterclaim prior to the shifting of idols into the disputed structure in 1949. …
21. The events from 1949 onwards
21.1 After the partition of the country in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on the 31st of January 1948 [The correct date is 30th January – CC]. Subsequently and as a consequence, members of the RSS were arrested and the organisation was banned up till 1949. …
21.3 No noticeable event took place between 1947 and the 23rd of December 1949. On that date idols of Ramchandraji (Ram Lalla) with the inscription, ‘Shri Ram’, were installed in the Garbh Griha. As a consequence, an FIR was registered against Abhay Ram, Sideshwar Rao, Shiv Charan Das and 60 others…
21.5 The central government as well as the state government had taken exception to the installing of the idols. Inquiries were made from the then district magistrate and deputy inspector-general [DIG] about their conduct, as to why they were not able to prevent the crowd effectively when it was not so large. …
21.7 District Magistrate KK Nayyar stated inter alia that there was no forewarning through any intelligence channel…
21.11 Post-1949, interestingly enough, the district magistrate and his wife and even his employee contested elections on the ticket of Hindu organisations.
21.12 The stance adopted at the time, apart from the refusal to remove the idols, would constitute a clear signal that a war had started brewing in the minds of the people and diagonally opposite views had started to be formed on whether the disputed structure was a mosque or a temple. The seeds of future discord were sown by the district magistrate. …
21.18 From 1949 to 1961 the only claimants were the pujaris or local sants who were litigating in the civil courts…
21.21 There was neither any agitation nor movement nor any coherent demand projected up till 1975…
21.22 No party or organisation or association other than individuals like Paramhans Ramchandra Das or his akhada [order] or the Wakf Board ever approached the court or became a party to the litigations either to defend or to prosecute the same. It is thus abundantly clear, uncontroverted and clearly established that the dispute, if at all there was any, remained confined to Ayodhya or the local vicinity…
22. Emergence of the sangh parivar
22.1 The VHP was constituted in 1964 with the object of consolidating and strengthening Hindu society…
22.2 [It] jumped on the Ayodhya bandwagon sometime in 1980. After the 1980s, calls for various andolans, kar sevas, were made…
22.3 The RSS and its leadership supported the claim for demolition of the disputed structure and the reconstruction of a temple at Ayodhya issue from the very beginning, directly or indirectly… The BJP joined the bandwagon by passing a resolution at Palampur in 1989 to support the construction of a temple at the disputed structure...
23. The 1960s and later events
23.1 In 1967, with the support and participation of the Jan Sangh, a non-Congress government was formed in Uttar Pradesh. No dispute was raised with respect to the disputed structure...
24. Ayodhya turns into an “issue”; creation of specialised organisations
24.1 The VHP took charge over the management of the dispute and the cause of “liberation” of the alleged temple at Ayodhya in November-December 1983…
24.4 In April 1984 the VHP constituted a Dharam Sansad as the frontal face for the movement. Though devoid of any legal status, the Dharam Sansad was, for reasons of expediency and need, put at the forefront of the movement with respect to the disputed structure… Similarly, a Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal too was constituted as one of the bodies of the VHP, again with no legal status.
24.5 Another organisational unit [of the VHP] named the Bajrang Dal was constituted… on the 7th of October 1984…
24.6 The Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagna Samiti or Dharam Sthan Mukti Yagna Samiti was formed… in June 1984…
24.7 A Ram-Janaki rath yatra was taken out from Delhi via Prayag on the 16th of October 1984, reaching Chitrakoot on the 22nd of October 1984… Vociferous demands for the “liberation” of the disputed structure and opening of its locks were made…
24.10 The movement for the opening of locks by the VHP and the Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagna Samiti continued until February 1985…
24.12 [T]he RSS, VHP and other Hindu organisations and believers in Hinduism were requested to support the movement as… it could not succeed without the support of a party at the national level…
25. Opening of the locks at Ayodhya
25.1 In January 1986 the campaign for opening of the locks formally started…
25.2 [O]n the 1st of February 1986… the district judge directed the opening of the locks… The reason for such an order passed by the district judge, as given in his autobiography, makes interesting reading.
25.3 It narrates the visit of a monkey to his home, then to his courtroom and then back to his house before, during and after the pronouncement of his judgement. The monkey, he said, did no harm. He made an attempt to convey that the monkey inspired or directed him to pass a judicial order in an appeal against the order declining the preponement of the date by the subordinate judicial officer, that too on an application made by a non-party to the suit.
26. Protests after the opening of the locks
26.1 The Muslims’ All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee was constituted on the 15th of February 1986. The opening of the locks was challenged in public meetings and a “black day” against the opening of the locks was observed on 12th May, 1986 as a protest. Various Muslim organisations like the Babri Masjid Movement [Coordination Committee], Central Action Committee for Restoration of Babri Masjid and various other committees or their affiliates were floated…
26.4 Muslims variously protested between the 1st of January to the 30th of March 1987. Apart from giving calls for boycotting Republic Day (which call was later withdrawn), bandhs were observed and a public rally held at the Boat Club in Delhi. Public threats of violence were made by personalities no less than the shahi imam of the Jama Masjid, Shahabuddin and Sulaiman Sait, etc.
26.5 Protagonists on either side of the dispute mobilised the people, held meetings, gave calls for bandhs, etc, throughout 1987. They gave emotional and provocative speeches and made appeals for their respective claims…
26.8 The Dharam Sansad, in January 1988, at Kumbh at Prayag, declared the details of the programme for shila pujan with effect from the 9th of October 1989.
26.9 Protagonists of the Masjid group decided to oppose it by taking out a long march while the sants decided to oppose it in their meeting held at Hardwar. …
26.11 The UP government, on the 15th of December 1987, made an application to the [Allahabad] high court requesting it to withdraw all pending suits from the subordinate courts to the high court for trial and disposal. …
26.14 A meeting to review the situation and in order to find a solution and in order to defuse the tension was held by the home minister of India… The leaders of both sides asserted that there was neither any question of negotiation on the Ayodhya issue nor could the problem be solved through the judicial process, as it related to centuries old faiths…
27. Events of 1989
27.2 Leaders of the movement, in a conference at Prayagraj during Kumbh, announced the proposed shilanyas to be carried out on the 9th of November 1989. A model of the proposed Ram temple was displayed and approved. …
27.5 In June 1989 the BJP took a historical decision not only to support the Ayodhya movement but to participate in it…
27.10 Further tension started building up in 1989 with the decision of the VHP to carry consecrated bricks (Ram shilas) from all over the country for laying the foundation stone of the temple on November 9th, 1989. …
27.16 The Allahabad high court, on 14th August, 1989, while declining to injunct the shilanyas and the carrying of shilas from all over the country for laying the foundation stone of the proposed temple on the 9th of November 1989, directed status quo to be maintained with respect to the disputed site…
27.18 A public meeting was held at the Boat Club, Delhi, on the 22nd of September 1989. Warning was issued for launching a bitter struggle if any impediments or hurdles were placed in [the way of] the shilanyas programme or the shila puja programme or in the steps declared by the organisers of the temple construction movement… Provocative slogans were raised and provocative speeches were made without any restraint either in the language and tone or texture…
27.22 During the Parliament session, on the 13th of October, all the political parties resolved not to permit or cooperate with the shilanyas. The VHP was called upon to cancel the programme; the BJP did not participate in these parliamentary proceedings.
27.23 General elections to the Lok Sabha were announced on the 16th of October 1989. VHP representatives informed the home minister on the 17th of October that the shilanyas programme would not be postponed.
27.24 During the general elections of 1989 the issue was brought to the centre stage of national politics by the BJP and RSS. The Janata Dal secured 143 seats while the BJP won 86 seats. A Janata Dal government was formed at the centre with the support of the BJP and Left parties.
27.25 VM Tarkunde [legal luminary and civil libertarian] filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court and sought an injunction against the shilanyas programme. The Supreme Court declined to interfere vide its order dated the 27th of October 1989. It was held by the court that the right to conduct religious processions was a fundamental right and therefore the ceremonial carriage of Shri Ram shilas to Ayodhya cannot be stopped.
27.26 By a notification, the government acquired the land popularly known as Ram Janmabhoomi…
27.27 On the call of the VHP ostensibly given by the sants, 3,50,000 shilas were brought to Ayodhya by the 5th of November 1989, for laying the foundation stones for the proposed temple at Ayodhya, by thousands of sants and priests mounted on raths flying flags bearing the Ram monogram…
27.29 Shilanyas was carried out on the rectangular platform at the predetermined spot…
27.31 [T]he Marg Darshak Mandal and the Dharam Sansad, etc concededly had no legal status. They were an aggregation of individuals organised by and under the aegis of the VHP. The VHP used to determine their agenda and decide matters for them and then proceed to carry out the “decisions” of those aggregations.
27.32 The VHP in turn was the frontal organisation for the RSS… [There is] no doubt that the author and architect of the movement was the RSS…
27.33 The Marg Darshak Mandal, Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal, etc were all established only for the sake of expediency and in order to swell the ranks of the sangh parivar by bringing together the masses who were followers of one or the other sect or the followers of diverse sants, sadhus, etc. …
28. Architects of shilanyas and kar seva
28.1 I am of the considered opinion that it was commonly believed and accepted that events were being planned and implemented by the VHP according to its convenience and agenda. Whilst the VHP stated and declared that it was only an executor of the programmes given by religious bodies, it was well known and as such perceived [that] everything was being done by the VHP and in its name.
28.2 Though the VHP is ostensibly an independent legal entity, for all intents and purposes, as evidenced from the evidence before the commission and the testimony received, the VHP is yet another organ of the RSS and directly under its influence. In all the negotiations, leaders from the VHP, RSS and BJP alone used to participate. At no point of time did any sadhu or sant participate in any negotiation either with Muslims or the governments of the state or the centre.
28.3 It was only around 1990 that, consequent to suggestions, a crude attempt was made by the leadership to make the general public believe that the call for kar seva was given by the Marg Darshak Mandal or the Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal or sadhus and sants…
29. 1990; Advani’s rath yatra
29.5 The massive and unprecedented [30th April, 1990] rally at the Boat Club served to hype up religious sentiments and sharpen emotions towards the construction of temple movement as well as the disputed structure. Most of the participants in the rally were BJP leaders… The rally succeeded in its object of rallying around more people to the BJP as well as politically uniting the Hindus thereby creating the vote bank which may not have existed hitherto…
29.4 Insinuations and innuendo against other religions, specifically the Muslims, were made on this public platform. Emotive speeches were delivered; some were articulate while some of the speakers exercised neither reins nor control over their language. Double-meaning slogans were raised in the presence of leaders. Slogans like “Jo Hindu hit ki baat karega, Wohi Hindustan par raj karega [Only those who protect Hindu interests must rule India]” were raised and prominently displayed under the rostrum…
29.15 LK Advani announced the beginning of his rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya on the 25th of September 1990… The rath yatra was to reach Ayodhya on the 30th of October 1990, the date fixed for kar seva for the construction of a temple at the disputed site…
29.17 LK Advani, accompanied by Pramod Mahajan, commenced his rath yatra on the 25th of September 1990 from Somnath… Leaders ranging from the fiery to the violent as well as the peaceful were present along with the kar sevaks. Some of them were armed as well… The rath yatra was blessed by Morari Bapu and Balasaheb Deoras, the president of the RSS. …
29.19 LK Advani warned the Janata Dal government [at the centre] on the 14th of September 1990, before the commencement of the rath yatra, that the BJP’s support to the government would be withdrawn if they tried to stop the rath yatra…
29.22 The rath yatra entered Delhi on the 14th of October and left for Bihar on the 18th of October 1990. It ended on the 22nd of October 1990 with the arrest of LK Advani and [others] at Samastipur (Bihar), under the orders of Laloo Prasad Yadav, the then chief minister of Bihar…
29.28 [L]akhs of kar sevaks reached Ayodhya on 30th October, 1990 and 2nd November, 1990.
29.29 There was indiscriminate firing on the kar sevaks, resulting in a large number of casualties, and in view of this development, further activities were suspended…
29.31 An attempt to blow up the disputed structure was made by one Suresh Kumar on the 8th of December 1990. This was however foiled.
29.32 Around 28,000 PAC [Provincial Armed Constabulary] personnel had been deployed in Ayodhya alone. The total number of deployed personnel in UP was 1,00,000, suggesting the strict security measures which had been taken…
30. BJP comes to power in UP (1991)
30.3 Elections were declared in March 1991. The Vishwa Hindu Sammelan was organised at the Boat Club, New Delhi, in the first week of April 1991… [I]n fact, it was a public meeting held in the course of the 1991 elections by the BJP and its allied parties, including the VHP. This was an unprecedented gathering and a large number of people, leaders, associations like the RSS, religious leaders, the Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, etc, including the VHP, participated in it. The event served to actively mobilise the people for the upcoming elections, to politically support the BJP or other Hindu-minded parties or protagonists of temple construction or of the Hindu religion.
30.4 Some mahants and sants not only participated but also took an active part in the political rally… All kinds of speeches, ranging from the emotional to the provocative, were delivered at the event and people were exhorted to participate not only in the construction movement but in kar seva too, as and when the call for it would be given, as well as extend their support to the BJP as the only political party supporting the temple agenda… Slogans like “Jo Hindu hit ki baat karega, Wohi desh par raj karega [Only those who protect Hindu interests must rule the country]” were shouted and displayed. …
30.5 The BJP presented the idea of Ram Rajya and revealed its manifesto for the construction of the temple at this meeting. It was declared that any government opposing the Hindus would not be allowed to succeed…
30.6 The BJP and its associates secured about 119 parliamentary seats while the Congress secured 249 seats. In the UP legislature, the BJP secured 211 seats.
30.7 PV Narasimha Rao became the prime minister of the Congress government at the centre. Kalyan Singh became the BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP formed governments in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and a coalition government with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra [The coalition government in Maharashtra was formed in 1995, not 1991 – CC]. …
30.9 The BJP government as well as the party took its success at the hustings as an electoral mandate for construction of the temple after removing all hurdles…
30.10 Sadhus, sants, the VHP proclaimed the government to be theirs, by them, for them. The VHP asked the government on 20th July, 1991 for clearing the decks for the construction and removing any surviving hurdles… A Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas was constituted for construction of a temple at the disputed site.
30.11 The UP government, under the garb of promoting tourism and providing amenities for visitors, acquired 2.77 acres of land in front of the disputed structure on the 10th of July 1991. Out of this 2.77 acres of land sought to be acquired, the VHP claimed ownership over 2.04 acres. The remaining tiny parcel containing the disputed structure was not acquired.
30.12 The acquisition of the land was judicially challenged on a number of grounds, including that it had been done for extraneous considerations. The Supreme Court, by an order dated the 15th of November 1991, allowed the government to take possession of the land but prevented construction of a permanent nature in the complex…
30.13 The [Allahabad] high court ordered maintaining of the status quo while permitting repairs of the damage done to parts of the structure in 1990; temporary constructions were permitted.
30.14 The UP government and the leaders of the temple construction movement stated that the 2.77 acres of land had been acquired for construction of the temple. The possession of this land was given to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas for the construction, on long lease, for a consideration of one rupee. The government itself employed tractors for digging a 12-foot wide area for levelling of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex. One wall of the Sankat Mochan temple was removed on the 24th of October 1991 at the instance of Vinay Katiyar despite the clear injunction from the court. Structures like the Sakshiji Gopal Mandir and a part of Sankat Mochan Mandir, the compound wall around the structure, etc in front of the disputed structure were demolished at the beginning of the rudra maha yagna on the 28th of September 1991 despite the [high court’s] status quo orders… The government submitted that the acquisition was for construction of a temple through the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. The acquisition was quashed by the high court holding it to be for the Mandir – a finding later affirmed by the Supreme Court. It was held that the acquisition was mala fide and for extraneous consideration. …
30.17 On the 31st of October 1991, kar sevaks climbed the domes of the disputed structure by jumping over the security cordons. They were detected and removed from there along with their flags. …
31. Events of 1992
31.1 The paramilitary forces and other forces expressed concern about the lax security. The principal secretary [home, UP] in January 1992 reported that the removed barriers could be resurrected immediately as and when the need arose. This was in fact never done. Removal of barriers and fencing commenced in January 1992.
31.2 RC Agarwal [deputy director, operations, CRPF] pointed out to the DGP [director general of police] that security in the isolation cordon had been adversely affected and the forces deployed were likely to be outnumbered by kar sevaks, which might result in panic reaction by the forces…
31.6 [U]p to January 1992, security arrangements were made in coordination with paramilitary forces, central and other available intelligence agencies, etc. After January 1992, these agencies were not taken into confidence and were not even informed of the formation of any security plans for the disputed structure…
32. February 1992
32.3 [T]he construction by the UP government of the security wall known as Ram Dewar, measuring eight to 10 feet in height, on three sides of the acquired land at Ayodhya, including the disputed structure, commenced on the 17th of February 1992…
32.4 Not only did the protagonists of the movement name the security wall as the
Ram Dewar, it was so referred to by the public at large, leaders of the movement, the administration, media, etc. It is evident from the oral and documentary testimony, which is too voluminous to reproduce here, that the UP government by its actions and conduct expressly and impliedly accepted it to be the boundary of the proposed Ram temple, including the Ram Janmabhoomi complex. The construction of this wall was hailed as a step towards the ultimate construction of the temple by the members of the political executive and leaders of the BJP and VHP, etc…
33. March 1992
33.13 The central government was getting understandably perturbed by the acts and conduct of the state government…
33.14 Kalyan Singh… on the 24th of March 1992… made a public statement to the effect [that] “Irrespective of the fact that the state government stays or goes, the Mandir must be constructed.” …
34. April 1992
34.2 The [union] home secretary and the [union] home minister expressed concern about the fragile communal situation in the area with the potentiality of serious repercussions. …
34.7 A meeting was held in which the district magistrate participated. Measures for beefing up the existing security arrangements, especially in the light of the recent demolitions of buildings in the complex, levelling of adjoining land, the forthcoming Ram Navami festival on the 11th of April 1992, were discussed. A request was made for deployment of the paramilitary forces in the inner cordon.
34.8 Subsequent to the visit of the NIC [National Integration Council] comprising of Subodh Kant Sahay, Suresh Kalmadi, MJ Akbar, etc, it was reported in the media on 6th April, 1992 that the Khasa Bara mosque was demolished. …
35. May 1992
35.6 The home ministry of India sought a report from the state and the district administration about the dilution of security vide its letter dated the 29/30th of May 1992. …
35.8 Paramilitary forces and others pointed out that security was being diluted…
36. June 1992
36.1 The home secretary of India expressed concern at the fragile communal situation in the area having serious repercussions.
36.2 VK Shukla, on the 7th of June 1992, informed the DGP and the [state] joint secretary, home, that digging/levelling and putting earth had weakened security. The outer ring was removed by the removal of iron barricades and security walls. It became easy to enter the building from every [part] of the Ram Dewar. Any person could ascend the barricading with the support of any wooden object because of the putting of earth on the west and south sides of the building. To the west of the disputed structure, in the gate between the newly built wall and barricade, an iron pipe gate was fixed, with neither barbed wire put on the gate nor the gate being locked. Anybody could enter after opening the gate. Due to the commencement of levelling, the security personnel i.e. PAC deployed were not as vigilant as they were earlier. The workers of the VHP or Bajrang Dal were negligibly stopped from entering. There was need for reviewing of security. Apprehension of undesirable and determined persons harming the disputed building was expressed. Review of security was requested. …
36.7 SB Chavan [union home minister] stated that the UP government was fully responsible for the protection of the structure…
36.12 Chaturmas [the four holy months in Hinduism] would be observed in Ayodhya to propagate the construction of the temple. There were apprehensions of demolition when the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas requested the state government for permission for puja on the 9th of July 1992. [This was] in view of the apprehensions of the gathering of a large number of Hindu religious leaders and the easy access to the disputed structure in view of the changed circumstances. The need for more security arrangements was acutely felt, especially because of the charged Muslim emotions and their demands, which might have led to communal violence. The government’s instructions were further sought in view of the security arrangements for the disputed structure alone. Apprehensions of the possibility of the situation going out of the control of the organisers over the people within the walled area were expressed… The central government continually conveyed its desire for the tightening of security. …
37. July 1992
37.1 AK Sharan [IG, inspector-general of police, Lucknow zone] made his first visit to the disputed structure in July 1992. The question of deployment of PAC forces for security was considered. At this point of time it was noticed that the coordination between the Intelligence Bureau [IB] and district police had broken down. He admitted that security of the disputed structure required beefing up in July 1992. There was a likelihood of the congregation of a large number of kar sevaks, sadhus and sants around the disputed structure in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex. He admitted that the strength of the PAC was raised from seven to 10 companies in July 1992 along with the posting of SSPs [senior superintendents of police] and district magistrate.
37.2 During July 1992, till the 27th of July 1992 when the kar seva was stopped, the print and electronic media covering the temple movement was constantly providing a progress report of the work done on each day and the target for the next day.
37.3 The district magistrate addressed a letter to the chief secretary on the need for discussion of security for the disputed structure, at a higher level, in view of the kar seva on the 9th of July 1992… The district magistrate and SSP, Faizabad, also informed the home secretary, UP, about the sant sammelans [congregations] for the Sarva Dharma Anushthan on 9th July at Ayodhya, on the acquired land. They reported that they anticipated a formal declaration of the starting of construction…
37.5 Various leaders made varying declarations in or around July…
37.6 Swami Satyanandji [Sant Samaj leader] declared that the sentiments of the people could not survive by the mere passing of resolutions… [He] urged the people for demolition of the structure without bulldozers or permission from the high court even if it resulted in the dismissal of the government…
37.7 Before the commission, it emerged that Mahant Nritya Gopal Das [of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas] exhorted the sants to participate in the kar seva programme… commencing on 9th July, 1992, which would later prove to be the backbone of the temple construction campaign. He stated that the Hindu community had been waiting anxiously for construction of the temple. He further exhorted the people to make the further decision towards the second step for the construction of the temple.
37.8 Other leaders of the movement like Paramhans Ramchandra Das urged the commencement of construction of the temple from the Garbh Griha where idols of Ram Lalla were installed. He and all other sants openly expressed the view that the [disputed] structure should be demolished. …
37.11 Mahant Avaidyanath [Hindu Mahasabha] admitted that had there not been a BJP government [in UP], the VHP by itself would not have succeeded in the construction campaign… He opined that the mere declaration of a date for commencement of the construction would create more problems and without doing so, the success achieved would be redundant…
37.14 It was stated that kar sevaks were now ready for the final fight…
37.16 The chief minister expressed his inability to shoot the kar sevaks and told the prime minister that he alone could order it if needed. It was further mentioned that only the central government could stop the work.
37.17 The call for kar seva was on the 2.77 acres and at the disputed structure, to commence on the 9th of July 1992… Sadhus and sants, kar sevaks, started converging on Ayodhya [from] the first week of July for the Chaturmas religious ceremony, Sarva Deva Yagna Avam Anushthan, and for kar seva for construction of the platform adjacent to the disputed structure on the 2.77 acres…
37.18 The security forces were under explicit orders from Chief Minister Kalyan Singh not to use force against the kar sevaks. The police, administration, thus became a silent spectator and a part and parcel of the kar sevaks…
37.25 The chief minister assured the home minister of India that the state government was bound to take all appropriate steps at all costs for the protection of the disputed structure. …
37.28 The VHP started proclaiming by the 7th of July 1992 that the structure would be demolished and a temple would be reconstructed…
37.29 There is overwhelming evidence before the commission from which it can be concluded that kar sevaks, sadhus and sants, organisers, leaders of the VHP, Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Vinay Katiyar, Acharya Giriraj Kishore and other leaders present in Ayodhya in July 1992 were in a defiant, rebellious and aggressive mood…
37.30 The VHP and Ashok Singhal, sadhus and sants or kar sevaks gathered at the spot and refused to stop construction of the platform [Chabutra], undertaken from Singh Dewar, or obey the orders of the high court… They refused to own responsibility for the ongoing construction work and the campaign was portrayed as being without any centralised leadership; no one knew who was in charge of the kar seva.
37.31 The BJP leadership and the government of UP failed to stop the construction. They chose to be mute spectators. The BJP leadership expressed their lack of capacity to talk to the leaders of the movement and asked the central government or the prime minister to hold discussions with the sadhus and sants and kar sevaks.
37.32 [The union home secretary, Madhav Godbole] said that despite the stay [order], construction of the Chabutra was undertaken while the state government disowned responsibility for the ongoing work and further refused to take recourse to stop the work and to disclose the identity of police officers helping kar sevaks…
37.33 A committee reported that considerable government machinery was being used on the site. …
37.35 The [union] ministry of home affairs, on the 11th of July 1992, pointed out as many as 12 serious security lapses and deficiencies…
37.36 The [union] home secretary pointed out that 45 companies of paramilitary forces were placed at the disposal of the state government, out of which only three had been deployed. The UP government was requested to place at least five of these companies in Ayodhya itself; five additional companies could be released on the condition that they would be deployed in Ayodhya alone…
37.41 Some noticeable events during the period of 13th to 15th July 1992 were that SB Chavan, the home minister of India, informed the Lok Sabha that the UP government had violated the court’s orders. The Allahabad high court refused to stop excavation… The Supreme Court asked for details as to whether any permanent construction had been made…
37.43 The high court, on the 15th of July 1992, ordered the construction activity to be stopped. The administration however failed to implement this order although it proclaimed to have made attempts to implement it. …
37.47 The publicised attempts of the administration themselves contributed to a surcharged environment. To comply with the court’s order was not possible without risking of lives, it was stated. Ashok Singhal [and others] refused to stop the construction work…
37.49 The governor [of UP] asked for a report about compliance of the Supreme Court’s order. The home minister of India asked the district magistrate to enforce the court’s order. The district magistrate sought directions from the chief secretary, who told the district magistrate to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court. The district magistrate got back with a report on the unwillingness of sadhus to stop construction. …
37.51 The [union] home minister was informed that there was no danger from the kar sevaks to peace and security. Additional forces of 10 companies of the PAC, four companies of the CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force], one CO [circle officer], three DSPs [deputy superintendents of police], 25 subinspectors and 210 constables were deployed…
37.53 The Faizabad administration, on 19th July, 1992, refused to use force to evict the kar sevaks for due compliance of the court’s orders. Kalyan Singh had already expressly prohibited the use of force or any other coercive process against the kar sevaks or their leaders after his taking over as the chief minister, as the temple construction was [part of] the election manifesto of the BJP. The administration therefore now reported that it was not possible to use force, as it would lead to large-scale violence. This report was perfectly in furtherance and in consonance of the election manifesto; the eviction of the kar sevaks was now next to impossible. This was reported to the chief secretary.
37.54 Kalyan Singh warned the central government on the 21st of July 1992 against sending central forces or their use against the kar sevaks, as it would lead to a law and order crisis. …
37.57 [On the 21st of July 1992] the prime minister wanted the suspension of the kar seva. The [BJP and the] RSS told the prime minister to talk to sants and sadhus for this. It was claimed that no one knew who was in charge of the kar seva. The very leaders of the VHP, BJP and RSS who had made the announcement regarding the kar seva now disowned responsibility for it and asked the central government to talk to the sadhus. …
37.60 The prime minister thereafter held discussions with the sants on the 23rd of July 1992. They refused to implement the Supreme Court’s order and the UP administration refused to use force to implement the same, claiming that it would lead to large-scale violence. It was after the prime minister’s intervention that the kar seva was finally stopped. The prime minister was given three months to resolve the dispute. …
37.62 The campaigners for the construction of the temple, on or about the 26th of July 1992, announced that the kar seva would be resumed in November 1992… LK Advani once again during this period stated that the Ayodhya dispute could not be settled through court cases. …
37.69 Ashok Singhal declared on the 31st of July 1992, which declaration was published in the media and which is not contradicted by anybody, that any constitutional or court solution, even if found, would not necessarily mean that the same would be accepted by the VHP. …
38. August 1992
38.2 The Supreme Court, on the 5th of August 1992, declined to transfer the land acquisition cases to itself and appointed a local commissioner to inspect the sites and report on any violation of its order. …
38.4 Kalyan Singh… declared on the 23rd of August that “if the decision of the hon’ble Supreme Court with respect to the Ram temple would be against the emotions of Hindus, we will make a separate law for construction of the temple.” …
39. September 1992
39.1 It was announced that charan paduka puja would commence from the 26th of September and go on till the 25th of November…
39.2 Mobilisation for the charan paduka puja continued in the last week of September. During this process VH Dalmia and Ashok Singhal stated that the temple could not be constructed without demolition of the mosque…
39.3 The UP government issued a press statement stating that so long as the land was in the custody of government, no construction would be done over it…
39.10 The VHP took a decision on the 24th of September that the period of three months given to the prime minister for resolving the dispute would not be extended. The people were asked to be prepared to start the construction work at the direction of sants…
40. October 1992
40.3 Commissioner SP Gaur, Faizabad, was of the perception that the call for kar seva given by the VHP was for construction of a temple on the 2.77 acres of acquired land and at the disputed site. He sought appropriate directions for security of the disputed structure in view of these changed circumstances. A reminder was sent by him on the 14th of October. An assurance was given by the state to the Supreme Court that no construction would be carried out on the acquired land. …
40.5 It was again pointed out that due to inadequate and ineffective regulation of crowds in and around the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, batches of 400 to 500 persons were allowed by the local authority to enter the Garbh Griha on Ram Navami Day i.e. 11th April, 1992. As a result of this, the CRPF deployed in the isolation cordon were outnumbered and overwhelmed. They virtually performed an impossible task in manning the isolation cordon. Only a semblance of security of the disputed structure was kept…
40.6 Bal Thackeray took a decision on the 25th of October 1992 to participate in the kar seva. It was announced that this was not going to be a mere symbolic kar seva but the actual kar seva at the spot by construction of the temple.
40.7 The RSS observed on 27th October, 1992 that three months had elapsed and no amicable solution had been found nor any perceptible result [been] achieved by the government. Finally, on 29th October, the negotiations collapsed.
40.8 The VHP called and organised a meeting of the Dharam Sansad on the 30th of October for deciding the future course of action…
40.10 The decision was taken to resume the kar seva on the 6th of December 1992…
41. November 1992
41.1 The chief minister refused to associate the CRPF or the IB in reviewing security, asserting that the state government was competent to secure the disputed structure. Nevertheless, the central government stationed 195 companies of paramilitary forces near Ayodhya in case of need. …
41.7 It was decided [by the UP government] that there was no need to hand over the responsibility of the inner cordon to the paramilitary forces as requested by them. There was no coordination between the CRPF and PAC while deployment of a magistrate and gazetted police officer was already there…
41.8 The CRPF’s apprehension regarding recommencement of the construction was brushed aside because it was felt that there was no possibility of anyone defying the Supreme Court’s order…
41.10 It was considered that it would be preferable to give up the government rather than to give up the construction of the temple; that Kalyan Singh should continue to press for a speedy disposal of the court cases…
41.12 On 3rd November, 1992 AK Sharan [IG] formed the opinion that approximately 1,50,000 kar sevaks would be coming to Ayodhya on the 6th of December and therefore wrote to the DIG, Faizabad, asking him to make arrangements for security, crowd management and traffic arrangement. …
41.17 The Supreme Court declined to appoint the central government as the receiver in view of the undertaking that the kar seva would be carried out in accordance with the court’s orders; and the state government’s agreement to stop any construction activity.
41.18 The Allahabad high court concluded hearing the challenges to the acquisition on the 4th of November, and reserved judgement. The judgement was slated to be pronounced on the 29th of November but was later postponed to the 5th of December and to the 11th of December. It was finally pronounced on the 12th of December 1992.
41.19 The media reported on the 6th of November 1992 that stopping of kar seva was not possible.
41.20 The RSS had made it clear that it considered that a mere symbolic kar seva would be a setback to the campaign…
41.28 The Shiv Sena (Tangri group) led by Kikar Singh, president of the UP group, and Ashok Dawra, national president, held a meeting of about 100 kar sevaks on the 15th of November at Lucknow where they criticised the BJP and the police. It was decided by them that 500 kar sevaks of the Shiv Sena would be called from each division and in case the VHP did not commence kar seva on 6th December, the Shiv Sena (Tangri group) would go ahead on its own.
41.29 The BJP and the RSS suspended all other programmes with effect from 15th November in order to clear the decks for the 6th of December. The old and infirm cadres were requested not to join the kar seva. …
41.31 Keeping in view the fast-paced events, a request was made to the state government to make use of the central forces… Kalyan Singh protested against the stationing of paramilitary forces near Ayodhya, being in violation of the federal structure provided by the Constitution of India.
41.32 A veiled threat of serious consequences was held out by [the UP] government and Kalyan Singh in case of any intervention by the central government in the programme scheduled from the 17th till the 28th of November. …
41.35 The chief minister, on the 17th/18th of November, addressed a letter to the home minister of India, asserting that maintenance of law and order was the responsibility of the state government and that there was no need to review the security. …
41.42 On the 20th of November, the Supreme Court in its order observed, “Venugopal submitted that the state government is second to none in its anxiety to ensure the enforcement of the orders of this court.”…
41.45 The [union] home ministry, through its letter dated the 21st of November, brought to the notice of the state the violent reaction and damage to the disputed structure in July 1991. The home minister further expressed his apprehension about the generation of religious frenzy at the proposed kar seva and again held out a veiled threat of the imposition of president’s rule.
41.46 It was reported in the media that the IB had, in its dispatches dated the 22nd of November, stated that the Sangh intended to demolish the structure. It was also stated that the dismissal of the Kalyan Singh government after the 22nd/24th of November would mean having to manage an unmanageable number of kar sevaks, which would entail arrangements on a massive scale. …
41.51 On the 28th of November, the UP government undertook to comply with the court’s order dated the 25th of November, to the effect that no construction of permanent or temporary nature would take place though to assuage the religious feelings of Ram bhakts, construction at some other place would take place. No construction machinery, material, [would] be moved in or around the acquired land…
41.53 The high court’s interim orders restraining any construction on the 2.77 acres of acquired land were in force in the acquisition writ petitions…
41.55 The chief minister assured the then home minister of India that the security arrangements would be foolproof. He expressed the hope for a settlement within the following 10 days. It emerges from the evidence and testimony that the security arrangements were being made only in pretence.
41.56 The offer of the chief minister to the home minister, that if the centre allowed the kar seva, the BJP government would in turn ensure the safety and security of the structure, by itself speaks about the intentions of the state. …
41.58 VHP leaders, Chinmayanand and Vijaya Raje Scindia, filed affidavits in the Supreme Court undertaking that neither any construction would be done nor any construction material would be carried in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex. They accepted that the kar seva would only be symbolic and only for assuaging the feelings of the kar sevaks. …
41.61 The chief minister accused the central government, in his letter dated the 26th of November, that by sending and stationing the central forces, it had given up the course of amicable solution for a confrontation…
41.64 In view of the threat perception, the central government had, by the 24th of November, stationed 195 companies of paramilitary forces around Ayodhya, anticipating possible deployment by the state government for the security of the disputed structure… [It informed the UP government] that these forces were being stationed at suitable places in UP with an object to make them available at short notice as and when required by the state government for deployment. The forces stationed had been clearly instructed to be available to the state without seeking any further orders. The central forces had started moving to Faizabad on the 19th of November. …
41.65 The chief minister [on the 25th of November] demanded the withdrawal of the paramilitary forces. In a published statement, Kalyan Singh stated that “The centre is out to create civil war-like situation in the state by sending central forces without our consent. Do they want clash between the central and state forces?”…
41.66 The [sangh parivar] leadership also made irresponsible allegations against the conduct of the forces and protest letters were also sent to the central government. These allegations were later found to be false. …
41.67 Champat Rai was the local manager for the construction of the Ram temple. He issued a statement on the 24th of November in a conference at the Bhagwadacharya Smarak in Ayodhya that it had been decided to adopt a guerrilla strategy for the 6th of December. His own words, “Guerrilla shaily apnayenge kar seva mein [We’ll adopt guerrilla tactics during kar seva]”, were published by the media on the 25th of November. There is no reason to disbelieve this part of the statement, specifically when no cross-examination was directed towards these facts.
41.68 Intelligence agencies reported that the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena were vying with each other for the “fame” of blowing up the disputed structure and this fact was within the knowledge of the VHP. The Shiv Sainiks and VHP cadres were practising archery under the tutelage of Krishna Kumar Pandey. The Shiv Sena cadres swore an oath at Sarayu river to demolish the disputed structure in the presence of local leaders and Vinay Katiyar, etc.
41.69 It was observed that the morale of the kar sevaks was low and there was a general sentiment expressed that they had not come there to eat and sleep but had come to construct the temple; they were becoming undisciplined. …
41.72 The prime minister, who perceived the kar seva to be illegal, made it known that the central government would implement the courts’ orders.
41.73 Kalyan Singh called an emergency meeting of ministers and directed them to mobilise kar sevaks in UP, at least 10 people from each gram panchayat of which [there] were 75,000. Thus almost 7,50,000 kar sevaks were to be mobilised from UP itself…
41.75 Activists of the Shiv Sena led by Satish Pradhan, MP – Anil Kalia, district chief; Pawan Pandey, MLA; Vijay Raj, district chief; Mahkoo Singh, district secretary; Arvind Kumar, district chief, Student Army [Vidyarthi Sena]; and Shiv Tripathi, chief of the Student Army, met at Faizabad on the 28th of November. The decision to commence actual kar seva by demolishing the mosque and undertaking construction of a temple rather than symbolic kar seva was taken… They proclaimed that the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal were connected with the BJP, which itself came from the Congress, and they all wished to establish a secular state. Only the Shiv Sena wanted to establish a Hindu Rashtra.
41.76 The meeting was reported by intelligence agencies to the higher bureaucracy as well as the political executive and was even referred to in the report dated the 1st of December 1992. The government did not even pay lip service, much less respond to this threat upon the revelation of this open secret.
41.77 SP Gaur, commissioner, Faizabad, accepted that the security arrangements were constrained by the state government’s direction that coercive force must not be used at the disputed structure or the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex…
41.79 The additional DGP requested instructions in view of the developing situation. He informed the state government that given the failure of the negotiations and the VHP’s determination to resume kar seva with effect from the 6th of December, there was a likelihood of the situation being vitiated further. It was getting increasingly difficult to predict the turn of events and it was apprehended that they might take an ugly turn. This information and request was faxed to the government and noticed by it but still no substantive action was taken. …
41.81 Ashok Singhal, etc challenged the undertaking of the UP government and Kalyan Singh to the Supreme Court and the National Integration Council and rhetorically asked, “Who is Kalyan Singh?” The other leaders of the movement also ridiculed and objected to the undertakings…
41.83 The governor of UP sent his assessment about Ayodhya, that the prevailing situation was pregnant with threat to the disputed structure. He however advised against the imposition of president’s rule.
41.84 Godbole [union home secretary] asserted that the law secretary, PC Rao, had opined that it would be incorrect to impose president’s rule in view of the fact [that] the hon’ble Supreme Court was seized of the matter.
41.85 It was obvious and categorically admitted that no effort to restrict, check or regulate the number of kar sevaks in Ayodhya or Faizabad was made…
41.86 Kar sevaks entered the old mosque and stoned the scooter-borne peace rally organised by the Congress. The mazaar [tomb] of Maqi Shah, Babri Mazaar and another mazaar at Ram Katha Kunj were damaged and graves levelled. I find that these facts are conclusively established. …
41.88 Narasimha Rao stated that he had to work with the state government, as he had no locus standi otherwise to take direct action. …
41.90 KS Sudarshan reached Ayodhya on the 30th of November. He denied all knowledge about the damage to graves, mazaars, etc although this fact was apparently known to one and all. This cannot however be believed, as he was one of the key figures looking after the kar seva for 6th December, 1992 at Ayodhya… It is clearly discernable from the statements, and on consideration of the evidence, that the RSS and its leaders were actively and passively conniving at the damage caused to mazaars and mosques, graves, and the defiling of graves.
41.91 The fact of the damage to mazaars and mosques, graves, and defiling of graves, was not disputed. Even the administration sent a report and an FIR [first information report] was duly registered…
41.92 The [union] home secretary directed the central forces in Ayodhya to be ready and at red alert. …
41.94 The central government brought to the notice of the state government the inadequacy of security arrangements.
41.95 The kar sevaks were threatening to start the kar seva from the Garbh Griha and to demolish the disputed structure. The threats and acts of the kar sevaks were indicative of their mood and intention to demolish the disputed structure. This apprehension of demolition of the disputed structure was corroborated by the reports of damage to other Muslim properties.
41.96 The resentment against a mere symbolic kar seva was apparent and reported to the state government.
41.97 The sifting of the evidence and statements leads to a conclusion that the state government was conscious of the potential disastrous consequences of the call given for kar seva…
42. December 1992
42.2 The chief secretary expressed his apprehension about the security arrangements and feared damage to the disputed structure because of the large gathering in and around the disputed structure as well as the Ram Janmabhoomi complex in Ayodhya town. He not only apprised the chief minister about it but held a meeting with him on the 1st of December. Decisions taken were conveyed to officers on the 2nd of December. …
42.5 Even after the damage to the mazaars on the 1st of December, the administration did not become cautious and it appears that the administration consciously took no steps to contain the crowd or their aggressiveness. …
42.7 The commissioner, Faizabad, showed ignorance about the admitted fact of demolition of mazaars and the police’s failure to disperse the crowd on the 1st and 2nd of December.
42.8 Akhilesh Mehrotra [additional SP, Faizabad] claimed that during his tenure he was the sole ASP while prior to him, and after the 1st of December, there was one ASP (city) and another ASP (rural). He was found to be a compulsive liar by me, as observed during the course of his statement and in this report as well. He has had the audacity to deny even admitted and undisputed facts like the BJP’s participation in kar seva in 1990, the beating of journalists and the riots, etc. He was found by me to be willing to go to the extent of making up false stories to support the state administration…
42.13 Prabhat Kumar [principal secretary, home, UP] admitted that “kar seva” was commonly understood to refer to the construction of the temple at the disputed site. Shiv Sainiks and other kar sevaks were only too eager to perform this form of kar seva, especially since the sadhus and sants were expressing resentment against the idea of a mere symbolic kar seva…
42.14 It was reported that there were no barricades towards the 2.77 acres of land on the 1st of December, which made the structure easily accessible. The situation was assessed to be fluid… In a meeting, the kar sevaks’ aggressive mood was also pointed out.
42.15 The home minister of India expressed his apprehension about the inadequacy of security measures, and the non-existence of any contingency plans, on the 1st of December. He noticed the background and expressed the need for greater security.
42.16 The district magistrate informed the government that between 6:00 hrs and 7:00 hrs on the 1st of December, about 35 unknown people in Ayodhya town damaged three graves situated in Kuber Tila and on the corner of the southern side road of the State Park. At a distance of one furlong from these places, one mazaar of Kamli Shah and two mazaars of Hazrat Shah Pahar Shah and Hazrat Makki Shah Rahmtullah Alle were damaged…
42.19 LK Advani stated before the commission that he was not informed about the plan made for kar seva or about any rehearsal which might have been organised by the kar seva organisers… The Telegraph newspaper had reported in November that in a meeting of leaders of the sangh parivar, attended by KS Sudarshan, LK Advani, MM Joshi and Ashok Singhal, etc at the RSS office on 2nd November, 1992, logistics and other details had been worked out.
42.20 On the 2nd of December, about 60,000 kar sevaks were present in Ayodhya. The district administration asked for more forces to deal with these numbers, which was declined by the state government.
42.21 The DGP, UP, in a meeting with the chief minister on the 2nd of December, 1992, expressed his apprehensions about the security of the disputed structure on account of the large crowd in the vicinity of the disputed structure.
42.22 Mulayam Singh, Subodh Kant Sahay and various other political leaders also expressed their apprehensions about the security of the disputed structure. They told the prime minister that the deployed force was not going to be able to prevent the kar sevaks from attacking the disputed structure. Even the leaders would not be able to control the huge congregation of kar sevaks on 6th December, 1992 in view of the militant and aggressive posture of the kar sevaks. It was pointed out to the prime minister that he should not believe the RSS’s claims about their ability to control and discipline the crowds. It was reported that sadhus and sants openly expressed their resentment. JS Bisht, the commandant of the CRPF, expressed concerns about the possibility of demolition of the disputed structure through his letter dated the 2nd of December. …
42.23 Acharya Dharmendra admitted that on the 4th of December 1992 food arrangement had been made for 50,000 people while the actual numbers were close to 1,50,000.
42.24 Intelligence reports dated 2nd December, 1992 show that pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order dated 28th November, 1992, observer Tej Shankar had reached Ayodhya. …
42.30 The apprehension about demolition and the inadequacy of the deployed forces was too obvious and perceivable. The forces were numerically far inferior compared to the number of frenzied kar sevaks present for the construction of the temple. There were no intentions or desire to tighten security or control and frisking…
42.31 The chief minister declined to deploy or use the available paramilitary forces and continued with airing his hopes that the organisers would be content with the symbolic and peaceful kar seva…
42.32 SC Chaube [IG, CRPF] and the IG, Lucknow zone, confirmed the communication to the government about the militant posture of kar sevaks vis-à-vis the paramilitary forces on the 3rd of December. …
43. December 4, 1992
43.2 Under the leadership of Moreshwar Save [Shiv Sena], Pawan Kumar Gupta of Punjab; Jai Bhagwan Goyal of Delhi; Vinod Vats of Haryana; Ram Khatri; Pawan Kumar Pandey, MLA [and UP chief]; and other prominent leaders of the Shiv Sena reached Ayodhya on 4th December, 1992. They made it known through the media that they would work for the construction of the Mandir despite the decision of the Dharam Sansad and the undertaking given to the Supreme Court for symbolic kar seva. …
43.5 The common intention was that the sadhus’ and sants’ decision about the kar seva would be followed regardless of what the courts might decree. The VHP claimed itself to be the executors of the decision of the sadhus and sants. No decision of conducting only a symbolic kar seva was conveyed by the sadhus and sants or their self-proclaimed executors and the act of mobilising and persuading the kar sevaks for construction of the temple continued. The kar sevaks continued arriving in Ayodhya for construction of the temple at the disputed site and for no other reason. …
43.7 The additional DGP, law and order, HD Rao; AK Sharan, IG, Lucknow zone; and CK Malik, IG, security, were physically present in Ayodhya on the 4th of December for supervising the security arrangements. [Over] 2,00,000 kar sevaks had assembled at Ayodhya by this date. …
43.8 Ground realities of the belligerent mood of kar sevaks, the incidents of demolition, high propensity or potentiality and capability of kar sevaks to damage the disputed structure, was well within the knowledge of the authorities.
43.9 Anju Gupta [security officer attached to LK Advani], referring to intelligence reports, stated that it was definite that an attack would be made on the disputed structure on [the morning of] 6th December, 1992, during kar seva…
43.11 It was averred before the commission that a rehearsal was carried out for the demolition of the disputed structure. Some photographs too were placed on record before the commission. It will however not be safe to hazard a finding about training in the absence of conclusive evidence though there is some circumstantial evidence and some statements do point [to] the conclusion that the kar sevaks were trained in demolition.
43.12 Admittedly, press passes were issued by the VHP media centre, signed by Ram Shankar Agnihotri and Chauhan, to the photographers and journalists who were present. …
43.14 The paramilitary forces had on the 4th of December expressed apprehension that the situation was going out of control, observing the huge crowd outside the disputed structure… The district authorities refused to give any specific instructions.
43.15 A German TV crew was attacked at Ram Katha Kunj on the 5th of December for allegedly airing an objectionable news story…
43.16 LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi reached Ayodhya at midnight on the 5th of December 1992, escorted by Anju Gupta, and stayed at Janaki Mahal Trust. The commissioner; DIG, Faizabad; district magistrate and SSP, Faizabad, called upon them and were assured by them that a peaceful kar seva would be carried out. They would ensure that things happened peacefully.
43.17 No similar decision was taken by the organisers or the leaders of the campaign, nor the kar sevaks or sadhus and sants or the VHP/BJP/RSS or the Shiv Sena or any other member of the sangh parivar, to carry out symbolic kar seva in terms of the orders of the hon’ble Supreme Court or otherwise.
43.18 Even Chinmayanandji, who had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court for symbolic kar seva, was publicly proclaiming that construction of the temple would be carried out. A recording of this speech was produced before the commission, where he can be heard denouncing the undertakings as irrelevant.
43.19 Tempers started rising among the emotionally hyped and belligerent kar sevaks. It was never in dispute that they had the ability to carry out the demolition. …
43.24 A small selection of the slogans which became extremely popular and were regularly heard during the campaign at Ayodhya during kar seva, especially in December, are: “Ram Lalla hum aaye hain, Mandir yahin banayenge [Ram Lalla we are here, We’ll build your temple here]”
“Mitti nahin khiskayenge, Dhancha tod kar jayenge [We won’t just dig up mud, Won’t leave till we demolish the structure]”
“Badi khushi ki baat hai, Police hamare saath hai [Oh happiness, the police are on our side]”
“Jab-jab Hindu jaage, Tab-tab mullah bhaage [When the Hindus awaken, Then the mullahs flee]”
“Jo roke mandir nirman, Usko bhejo Pakistan [Whoever blocks temple construction, Send them off to Pakistan]”
“Jis Hindu ka khoon na khola, Woh khoon nahin pani hai [A Hindu whose blood does not boil, It is water not blood]”. …
43.27 The belligerent attitude and the aggressive temper of the people is conclusively established by the evidence produced before the commission. This attitude and sentiment continued on the 6th of December.
43.28 An attempt was made before the commission to shield important leaders like LK Advani by denying that they made any emotive speeches, by most of the witnesses who appeared before the commission.
43.29 It was not only the crowds which were raising provocative slogans but also the religious, political and other leaders, in their speeches at Ram Katha Kunj and in Ayodhya since long and on the 6th of December. The fact that emotive or inflammatory speeches were given was not conceded yet impliedly admitted by the witnesses. Some of these speeches, especially those delivered by the religious leaders and the politicians in the garb of religious leaders, can be heard on the video recordings produced before the commission and finds corroboration in the statement of [Commissioner] SP Gaur. …
43.31 Urgent messages about the threat perception were sent by the IG, security, on the 5th of December, which were read out to officers and the implications were explained. It was claimed that some temporary wooden barricades were erected on the intervening night of 5th and 6th December 1992 in order to streamline the entry of kar sevaks. There is nothing on the record to substantiate this except the bare averments. Otherwise also, the strength and the placement of these barricades is unknown. Even the barricades allegedly erected were admittedly not with a view to protect the structure but only to facilitate the entry of the kar sevaks.
43.32 The [union] home secretary proposed to the chief minister to deploy 133 companies of the central forces for the security of the structure on the 5th of December, since the number of kar sevaks was expected to exceed 2,50,000 on the 6th of December. By articulation of the information available with respect to the potential damage or demolition of the disputed structure by the kar sevaks, it was stated that there was information available with respect to extremists and subversive elements likely to cause the damage and therefore he advised the chief minister that the state government should use the 133 companies of central forces.
43.33 The chief minister stated that the state government had already accepted and acted upon the suggestions of the police and the concerned organisations, who had assured that no damage will be caused to the structure. The hackneyed excuse about the potential trouble arising out of dual control of the forces in Faizabad was repeated and it was ordered that protection be carried out by making use of state forces only. …
43.36 Acharya Dharmendra Dev again declared on the 5th of December that they would follow the instructions of sants and not the Supreme Court. The people were assured that they ought to have faith that their ambitions would be fulfilled. …
43.38 These speakers addressed the 60,000 to 70,000 kar sevaks at Ram Katha Kunj.
The kar sevaks were ostensibly told that they were there to construct a temple and not to demolish a mosque. It was said that “As long as Ram idols are there, it is a Ram temple and we will not demolish it.” They admitted that the situation could go haywire and deteriorate but that “we have to remain disciplined and under all circumstances keep the peace”. Slogans, ostensibly to keep the peace, were mouthed in the meeting.
43.39 RN Srivastava, district magistrate [Faizabad], admitted that on the 5th of December, the whole town, its lanes and by-lanes, were full of kar sevaks raising slogans. They were in an aggressive, belligerent and demonstrative mood and their ire was directed especially against the Muslim community and the central forces. …
43.41 The chief minister, Kalyan Singh, once again, and in writing this time, ordered against the use of firearms specifically on the 6th of December. The fact was well known throughout the leadership of the movement, the administration as well as to the people assembled in Ayodhya. This was consistent and in continuity of the directions issued by Chief Minister Kalyan Singh in July 1992 and an obvious sign that a free hand was available to the kar sevaks.
43.42 The commission is of the considered opinion that the security apparatus was non-existent in Ayodhya on the 6th of December 1992…
44. December 6, 1992
44.2 On the 5th of December, a sham paper decision was taken by the Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal-Dharam Sansad that only a symbolic kar seva would be carried out near a platform after performing puja on it at the mahurat time of 12:15 p.m. …
44.5 The BJP firstly issued instructions to its MPs and its MLAs not to participate in the movement on the ground that rulers cannot be seen to be agitators. Despite these instructions, legislators, ministers and the MPs (some of whom had resigned and others without doing so) participated in mobilising kar sevaks and in kar seva. Later, even these instructions were withdrawn for unexplained reasons.
44.6 The total force deployed in Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992 admittedly consisted of 35 companies of the PAC, four companies of the CRPF, including the women’s wing squad, 15 tear gas squads, 15 police inspectors, 30 subinspectors of police, 2,300 police constables, bomb disposal squad, sniffer dog squads, fire brigade and ambulance. The deployed force was under the charge of DB Rai, SSP, Faizabad. The DIG, Faizabad; IG, Lucknow zone; IG, PAC; and commandants of the CRPF were also present in Ayodhya on duty for security of the disputed structure. Magistrates were posted at sensitive places and at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
44.7 The entire administration at Ayodhya was controlled by District Magistrate RN Srivastava. He was acting on direct, minute-to-minute control of the chief minister. The home secretary and the chief secretary were directly in touch with the district magistrate and were giving instructions from time to time from Lucknow. The commissioner, Faizabad, was present in Ayodhya on the fateful day without taking any active interest, either for security or for crowd control or guiding the officers under his supervisory control.
44.8 KS Sudarshan admitted that the decision to deploy RSS swayamsevaks for the security of the disputed structure and controlling and regulating the crowd had been taken. He stated that the persons deployed were identified by the RSS divisional pratinidhi [representative]. In the totality of circumstances, his denial of the deployment of any specific person or institution cannot be accepted.
44.9 One hundred and ninety-five companies of paramilitary forces were stationed around Ayodhya, near Faizabad, ready for being deployed to meet any situation. The state government was categorically told, in writing as well as orally, that forces stationed around Ayodhya, near Faizabad, were available for deployment at Ayodhya as and when the state wants to deploy them. The forces stationed had been clearly instructed to be available to the state without seeking any further orders.
44.10 On the 6th of December, at about 9:30 a.m., the home secretary of India informed the DGP of the ITBP [Indo-Tibetan Border Police] to keep the paramilitary forces ready in case any request for assistance was received from the state government and to deploy the forces without waiting for formal orders from the ministry of home affairs. The home secretary also requested the principal home secretary, Uttar Pradesh, present at the residence of the chief minister as well as the UP DGP, to persuade the chief minister to utilise the central forces. These facts have been admitted and were not in dispute before the commission. VK Saxena [chief secretary, UP] accepted the factum of a fax having been sent to the state by the central government about the availability of the forces stationed and ready for being used at Ayodhya by the state in the eventuality of need. …
44.12 On the 6th, at 10:30 a.m., LK Advani and MM Joshi accompanied by Vinay Katiyar, along with the sadhus and sants followed by Ashok Singhal, reached the platform meant for the puja and symbolic kar seva. On their arrival, a defiant group of kar sevaks pushed themselves against the security cordon and despite the resistance offered by the RSS swayamsevaks, breached the security cordon and reached the platform meant for puja.
44.13 No visible substantial resistance was put up by the police or the administration for forestalling the intruders. The RSS swayamsevaks succeeded in physically throwing the intruders out from the platform. LK Advani and MM Joshi, after seeing the arrangements for the symbolic kar seva, stayed at the platform for about 10 to 20 minutes and thereafter went to the Ram Katha Kunj at a distance of 200 yards from there.
44.14 The administration pretentiously and falsely reassured the assembled journalists that everything was under control and they should not waste their time.
44.15 LK Advani emphasised on oath that had the organisers not accepted the Supreme Court’s order of symbolic kar seva, he would not have associated himself with the kar seva…
44.18 At about noon a teenage kar sevak vaulted onto the dome and thereby signalled the breaking of the outer cordon. Other kar sevaks, wielding pickaxes, hammers, iron rods and shovels, started scaling the Ram Dewar and over the barriers of the outer, inner and isolation cordons, from the east, west and south… They stormed the disputed structure. The police deployed at the spot gave their canes and shields to the kar sevaks, who brandished them openly.
44.19 The kar sevaks’ assault on the disputed structure started around 12:15 p.m. They first entered the Garbh Griha and carefully took the idols and cash box, etc to a safe place. Continuous brickbatting at the security forces gave ample cover to the kar sevaks assaulting the disputed structure. This was a planned act in order to give the impression of spontaneous chaos. This is corroborated by admitted facts, including the space available within the cordons. There was no order requiring the movement of the forces from the outside towards the cordons. The whole open area between the cordons was occupied predominantly by the kar sevaks and their leaders. The kar sevaks on the domes started breaking the upper plaster, etc with hammers.
44.20 In fact, the demolition was accomplished by smashing holes inside the walls. Ropes were inserted through these holes in the walls under the domes; the walls were pulled down with these ropes, bringing down the domes as well.
44.21 The kar sevaks succeeded in pulling down the first dome at 1:55 p.m. This breakthrough sent the hardcore protagonists like Sadhvi Ritambhara and the other sadhus, sants and leaders into ecstasy.
44.22 The forces present in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex were outnumbered and got mixed up with the kar sevaks. They did not have any means of communication with their officers present in the control room. The state police and the PAC took no action throughout. The CRPF forces reassembled at Sita Ki Rasoi but no order was given to them thereafter.
44.23 It was admitted by KS Sudarshan, etc and generally accepted that around 150 kar sevaks suddenly broke through the cordons. The evidence presented before the commission suggests that the total numbers present within the corridors was anywhere between 1,000 to 5,000. The presence of another 75,000 to 1,50,000 kar sevaks was claimed at Ram Katha Kunj, at a distance of 200 yards from the disputed structure. Ram Katha Kunj was an open area expanding up to Ram Dewar.
44.24 LK Advani, MM Joshi, Ashok Singhal, Vijaya Raje Scindia, HV Seshadri, etc, who were present at the Ram Katha Kunj, made feeble requests to the kar sevaks to come down from the disputed structure, either in earnest or for the media’s benefit. One could have reasonably perceived that the demolition of the disputed structure was not possible from the top of the domes. No request was made to kar sevaks not to enter the Garbh Griha or not to demolish from inside, under the domes. This selected act of the leaders itself speaks about the hidden intentions of one and all being to accomplish demolition of the disputed structure. The icons of the movement present at the Ram Katha Kunj could just as easily have proceeded to the corridors and, utilising the administration’s assistance or that of their highly disciplined swayamsevaks, prevented the demolition.
44.25 LK Advani first made requests over the public address system to the kar sevaks on the dome to come down. When the request fell on deaf ears, then he deputed Uma Bharti, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, Baikunth Lal Sharma ‘Prem’, to go along with his own personal security officer, Anju Gupta, to the disputed structure to persuade the kar sevaks to come down. The kar sevaks paid no heed to this request either. Uma Bharti claimed that when persuasion failed, an attempt was made to bring them down by instilling fear of the paramilitary forces, saying there would be firing and bloodshed. The kar sevaks’ reaction reportedly was that “We have not come here to eat halva-puri. We are not of that brand of kar sevaks. We have come from our home to face firing”. The kar sevaks did not react to persuasion nor to fear.
44.26 This charade by these leaders at the instance of LK Advani is in stark contradiction to their own prior conduct and their public posture, incitement and exhortations to the crowd to build a temple in place of the disputed structure. The demolition of the structure was unavoidable for the construction of the temple.
44.27 Kar sevaks and their leadership consistently refused to change their conduct or the stand taken by them. After these initial attempts were made to pacify the kar sevaks, nothing was done thereafter to stop the assault, either by the organisers or the sadhus and sants or by the administration and the police.
44.28 Kar sevaks assaulted the journalists and photographers present in and around the Ram Janmabhoomi complex and the disputed structure and at Manas Bhavan, etc. The assault coincided with the crowd entering the cordon. In other words, the journalists and the structure were attacked simultaneously. The kar sevaks snatched film rolls and smashed cameras and beat up journalists and photographers present in the complex or outside.
44.29 The idols and cash box removed to safe places before the kar sevaks went inside the domes were placed at their original place at about 7 p.m. The construction of a temporary, makeshift temple commenced at about 7:30 p.m. through kar seva.
44.30 Chief Minister Kalyan Singh announced at 6:45 p.m. that he had resigned. The central government on the other hand claimed that the chief minister, Kalyan Singh, was dismissed.
44.31 A cabinet meeting was called and president’s rule imposed in the state at 6:30 p.m. The president of India signed the proclamation of the imposition of president’s rule at 9:10 p.m. About two lakh kar sevaks in militant and aggressive mood were present in the complex at the time.
44.32 A close examination of the evidence shows that the enthusiastic chanting of inflammatory slogans, including “Ek dhakka aur do, Babri Masjid tod do [Give another push, Bring down the Babri mosque]”, acted like the proverbial war cry and these were raised to encourage the kar sevaks in their dastardly deeds. Slogans against Muslims were also raised. Sarcastic remarks were made against the high court and the Supreme Court…
44.33 The district magistrate, in this chaotic scenario, did nothing. Nor did the galaxy of senior officers named in my report, including AK Sharan, SP Gaur and CK Malik, etc, take any steps to stop the demolition or [the assault on] journalists.
44.34 Only after seeking permission from the chief minister, the district magistrate requisitioned the paramilitary forces stationed around Ayodhya and Faizabad at about 12:30 p.m. The chief minister had now granted permission to deploy the paramilitary forces subject to the condition that they would not resort to firing, on the persuasion of the UP home secretary, at the stage when he felt assured that the task of achieving the promises made in the election manifesto had been substantially fulfilled and that nothing could be done to undo the demolition or any other act likely to be carried out, like the construction of a makeshift temple at the spot. Secondly, it was ensured through loyal workers that the paramilitary forces did not reach the disputed structure during the period that the demolition was being effected. The organisers, with the benefit of experienced and retired officers, were well aware about the significance of the time factor.
44.35 Requisitioned at 12:45 p.m., the paramilitary forces were unable to reach the disputed structure and faced stiff resistance as well as physical hurdles employed by the kar sevaks either of their own volition or on being exhorted by the leadership.
44.36 The district magistrate and DIG, Faizabad, requisitioned from the director general, ITBP, and the deputy inspector-general, CRPF, 30 companies of the paramilitary forces and later, another 50 companies. The director general of the paramilitary forces requested magistrates to accompany the paramilitary forces from their base to Ayodhya. The [union] home secretary asked the DGP to issue the necessary instructions at 2:30 p.m. and spoke to the chief secretary to the same effect. He also spoke to the defence secretary to provide helicopters for the movement of additional troops if necessary.
44.37 Thereafter three battalions of forces left for Ayodhya, accompanied by magistrates and circle officers, while the rest of the battalions were waiting for the magistrates who never came. The paramilitary forces were not allowed to reach Ayodhya by the kar sevaks placing physical hurdles and becoming unwieldy on the way to Ayodhya.
44.38 VK Saxena confirmed that the home department had authorised the district magistrate to utilise the available paramilitary forces. The district magistrate gave a written requisition to the DIG, CRPF, in the control room to make available 15 companies. The chief minister personally phoned the district magistrate to take all available measures to control the situation without resorting to firing. However, the damage to the disputed structure continued and no action was taken by the police or the IG, DIG, district magistrate or the SSP, Faizabad, present at the spot till 12:50 p.m.
44.39 On the other hand, officers can be seen on video cassettes, saying, “Kuch toh karo [Do something]” without in fact doing anything at all.
44.40 At 1:15 p.m. the DGP opined that the situation could not be brought under control without resorting to firing. However, emphasis was placed again on the categorical order prohibiting firing under any circumstances.
44.41 The (union) home minister asked the chief minister about the action taken. The DG, ITBP, informed the home ministry about the resistance being faced and the roadblocks created by the people en route. He stated that they had reached the degree college with much difficulty, to face stone-pelting and resistance and further hurdles and roadblocks.
44.42 Even though the chief minister was informed about this, he gave a written order not to resort to firing under any circumstances and to take any other measures to control the situation. The magistrate ordered in writing for the forces to turn back at about 2:25 p.m.
44.43 The state government and the home secretary were kept informed, from the time the first dome was demolished, that the way could not be cleared without the use of force which neither the chief minister nor the district magistrate permitted. At this stage another interesting fact about the conduct of the chief minister, Kalyan Singh, emerged: that despite [the fact that] the whole world was seeing the happenings at the disputed structure, including the assault on journalists, the chief minister asserted that he would verify the facts brought to his notice by the administration or the media. The whole conduct and acts of the chief minister, Kalyan Singh, was intended to delay the deployment of paramilitary forces or the intervention of the central government before the object of demolition was completely achieved.
44.44 Communal riots had commenced at Ayodhya at about 3:30 p.m. Riots were carried out by another group of kar sevaks [different from the] group of kar sevaks who were carrying out the demolition. The DGP again informed the chief minister and others in the hierarchy that the situation could not be brought under control without resorting to firing. The central government repeatedly responded to the situation by informing the state government through the ministry of home affairs that officers at any level were free to seek the assistance of the army by approaching the local authority directly, for which instructions had already been issued.
44.45 The director general of the paramilitary forces informed the state government of the availability of two battalions of the Rapid Action Force [RAF] present and their readiness to move to Faizabad. The district magistrate, at about 6 p.m., informed the director general that he was trying to arrange for the magistrates in whose absence the troops could not be deployed.
44.46 The police and the administration was a mute spectator. Their loyalty to the political masters was writ large.
44.47 District Magistrate RN Srivastava spelt out the policy of the state government with respect to the disputed structure and the kar seva on the 6th of December. In his own words, “We were told that kar seva would be peaceful and kar sevaks would not violate any court order but the administration should be prepared to see and ensure that no damage is done to the disputed structure.”
44.48 He spelt out various steps taken for security. These included being alert all the time, more touring, more inspections and some more wooden barricading as erected between the night of the 5th and 6th morning for regulating the entry of the kar sevaks to the shilanyas site.
44.49 District Magistrate RN Srivastava further admitted that no other attempt was made by the administration to regulate, restrict or control the flow of kar sevaks in Faizabad and Ayodhya in November or December 1992, as the Supreme Court had permitted the symbolic kar seva. No necessity of this was felt till the 6th of December either. He claimed that notices were sent to other states to ensure that kar sevaks do not come to Ayodhya, as their number had already reached 2.5 lakhs in an area of 50 acres around the disputed structure and Ram Katha Kunj. There was no corroboration to this either factually or through any other means.
44.50 There was a mixed reaction amongst the leadership of the movement. LK Advani and other more sober leaders were taken aback by the demolition. LK Advani expressed his reaction in the following words, “I feel proud about my participation in the movement though with respect of the incident of 6th December, 1992, VHP and RSS leaders present with me signed the statement describing the demolition as unfortunate. I described myself as dejected and downcast on that day.”
44.51 Others like Sadhvi Ritambhara, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti, Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Sakshiji Maharaj, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, Swami Chinmayanand, Mahant Avaidyanath, Praveen Togadia, etc, were not only jubilant, claiming it to be their success, but went into ecstasy along with their followers. Religious leaders were openly jubilant during and after the process of demolition. Their excitement and joy was shared by the kar sevaks present.
44.52 Kalyan Singh’s reaction was, “It was like a badly inflated balloon which burst.All other political parties, particularly centre, are to be blamed for frustration of kar sevaks, who forced them to go desperate. They should arrest me because, after all, I fulfilled one of the major objectives of our party and have redeemed the party’s election manifesto.” It is an open secret that the leadership of the RSS or BJP asserted that the political gains achieved by the BJP in the process of demolition of the disputed structure, particularly consolidating the Hindus, should not be wasted. It should be assimilated and converged into votes for the BJP or for the political parties reputed to be the protectors of Hindus.
44.53 There were chaotic scenes at the disputed structure, requiring the immediate requisitioning of paramilitary forces; still the chief minister maintained that he was receiving conflicting reports about the entry of kar sevaks into the disputed structure or the complex. This information had even been sent to the central government and there was no doubt left that the kar sevaks had stormed into the structure and the cordons.
44.54 The chief minister was intentionally and inexplicably complacent even in these circumstances. He informed and assured the home minister of India that he would verify and deal with the matter, when the entire world was physically seeing what was happening at the disputed site, apart from being informed of minute-to-minute happenings by his administration, the media and his loyalist kar sevaks or BJP workers.
44.55 It was between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. when communal frenzy broke out in the town of Ayodhya. Houses of the Muslims were [set] on fire. The DGP again opined that the situation could not be controlled without resorting to firing and requested for permission from the chief minister. The same request was repeated to the chief secretary. The DGP, district magistrate and SSP, at 5:35 p.m., were informed that the orders of the chief minister not to act will not be tenable in view of their statutory responsibility.
44.56 Before me, the leadership pleaded not only a loss of memory but in some cases, they put forth a total denial even after a lapse of 10 years. They intentionally defended their leaders or the involved organisers in this manner.
44.57 Peeyush Srivastava, additional SSP [Faizabad], stated a deliberate and patent lie before the commission, that the communal frenzy broke out because of the firing from the house of a Muslim on the kar sevaks. This was stated in the face of the evidence on record. He knew, of course, that compared to the lakhs of kar sevaks present in Ayodhya, the Muslims were in insignificant numbers and that this theory would not even be credible for a moment. The theory for the cause of the riots stated by Peeyush Srivastava is not only false but consistent with a pattern of behaviour of persons like him seeking to build [personal] defences or for their mentors. …
45. A brief summation of the factual matrix
45.1 Unfortunately, in the entire Ayodhya episode, those who know the entire truth have neither bothered to come forth with it nor stopped for a moment to consider any one section of, or society as a whole. One can observe particularly about the members of the bar who proclaim themselves to be social leaders in Parliament and who have been publicly adopting one or the other stance on the issue, and issuing statements criticising the delay in this report in the media, that they did not even care to seek the reasons for the delays nor formally assist the commission in gathering information.
45.2 Kalyan Singh, who at one point of time was proclaimed to be a national hero for the demolition in the media, and which accolade he has never refuted, was the chief minister at the relevant point of time and expected to know everything from the government sources at his command, his own political and private resources and his relations with those who were present at the spot. He has not only consciously attempted to conceal information but also evaded giving the information to me by making all possible attempts, whether through the judicial process or otherwise, till date. After first himself declaring [that he was] aware of the conspiracy for the demolition, [he] later appeared of his own [volition] before the commission and disowned his earlier statement.
45.3 Despite the coercive processes which the commission had to adopt, he has tried to obstruct the inquiry for the truth by this commission consistently…
45.4 The RSS has admitted in its written arguments that Janam Sthan Bhoomi Mukti Sangharsh Samitis were formed throughout the country for getting the Ram Janmasthan “liberated” with the object of constructing a Ram Janmasthan temple on the very site on which the disputed structure stood. That the RSS had willingly extended its support to this campaign. All the organisations spearheading the movement, including the VHP, had decided to start kar seva for construction of the temple on October 30th, 1990 and despite the repressive measures taken by the then UP government.
45.5 In essence, it was submitted that the sants spearheading the movement took the decision to do the kar seva on the 9th of July 1992, which was suspended for three months only for resolving the issue, on the direct intervention of the prime minister. Upon its failure, the Dharam Sansad decided to recommence the kar seva with effect from 6th December, 1992. It was the sadhus and sants who had decided to build a magnificent Ram temple on the opening of locks in 1986…
45.6 In the arguments, after referring to the statement of KS Sudarshan, it was admitted that: “We tried to guide the kar seva in such a manner that the kar seva would start and the structure remain intact, we planned in such a manner. The plan was that the court would pronounce its verdict regarding the disputed structure and there will be some settlement with the Muslim leaders.” Secondly, the kar sevaks who were called in were not skilled workers and their job was in fact to assist the skilled demolition experts. Thus on the 4th of December 1992, at a meeting of the Mandir Jeernodhar Karma Samiti wherein the RSS also participated, four decisions were taken. That the kar sevaks would only assist the skilled workers in the task of temple construction; the kar seva would start on December 6th, 1992, at 12:15 noon; sand would be brought from the Sarayu river to fill up the pits; and lastly, that no one should be allowed to stay in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex. It was hoped that the RSS would inspire all the kar sevaks to do kar seva peacefully, as they feared an intervention by the central government’s paramilitary forces. The whole plan was made in such a way that December 6th, 1992 would pass peacefully. The Marg Darshak Mandal approved the decisions taken by the Mandir Jeernodhar Karma Samiti on 4th December, 1992.
45.7 Emphasis was laid in the arguments about the role of the administration – civil and police – in the entire arrangements for the stay of kar sevaks and no role being assigned to the police and administration; and that the police and administration were only to make security arrangements to avoid any trouble. RSS workers were standing there and organising the movement.
45.8 It would be unjust and going against the record not to note another important fact admitted by KS Sudarshan and expressly stated as such in the arguments, that it was only 4,000 to 5,000 kar sevaks who had gone out of control; some of them climbed the disputed structure and many others started breaking the barricades around the disputed structure. To answer the question that if this was not part of the plan then what went wrong, it is necessary to ask some more questions. Since when was the RSS associated with the campaign? It was admitted that they joined in, in 1986 when the locks of Ram Janmabhoomi were opened and the RSS passed its first resolution welcoming the unlocking of the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
45.9 Simultaneously, the RSS had called upon the Hindu samaj and the swayamsevaks of the RSS to support the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. It started urging the swayamsevaks to go to Ayodhya in 1990 and even to become “martyrs”.
52. The complicity of the administration
52.3 It can be observed that there was a complete want of honest approach while providing security to the disputed structure. The administration not only collaborated in fleshing out the skeleton by the state government and putting it in its manifesto but also connived and abetted in the demolition of the structure, and the aftermath, to achieve the political object of the political party in power and the object of its election manifesto.
52.4 It would not be out of place to recall yet again that the BJP formed the government led by Kalyan Singh as the chief minister in Uttar Pradesh in June 1991. Prior to the 6th of December 1992, the chief minister changed the local officers of the administration holding key posts, including the commissioner, inspector-general of police, director general of police, district magistrate, superintendent of police, deputy inspector-general of police and other officers, by liberally exercising the power of transfers. Prakash Singh [former DGP, Uttar Pradesh], categorically stated that officers like DV Mehta, DIG, and [himself], being inconvenient persons, were transferred out while people with sangh parivar affiliations or political ambitions, like DB Rai [SSP, Faizabad], AK Sharan, etc, were posted at Ayodhya despite his objections. He stated that DB Rai used to hobnob with the local political leaders at Ayodhya. Other pliable officers with particular affiliations, or having a political agenda, or [who] did not even have any experience of situations like the one in hand, were transferred to sensitive offices or posts. It was well known and an open secret that AK Sharan, the IG of Lucknow zone dealing with the Ayodhya issue, was close to the BJP leadership and was pliable even to the local leadership. His conduct and partiality, particularly on the fateful day, make his ties with the BJP even though he was in uniform, unacceptable. So is true of DB Rai, who was even more strongly devoted to the BJP and the Hindu Mahasabha which was anti-Muslim.
52.5 The commissioner of Faizabad [SP Gaur] himself categorically admitted that he did not know about policing. It is astonishing that an officer who is legally required to supervise not only professionally but also to supervise an entire institution or an organisation does not have basic knowledge of the subject. The people who mattered in the administration, either knowingly or otherwise, having or [having] had strong views on Hinduism and about the partition of the country, were put in key posts especially. They also had political ambitions as revealed by later events i.e. when he contested elections on a BJP ticket. Akhilesh Mehrotra [additional SP, Faizabad] did not hesitate to coin and put forward incredible, blatantly unbelievable stories like that there was firing from the house of a Muslim on the 6th of December. I can observe here that he evaded all inconvenient questions about undisputed facts during the course of examination.
52.6 DB Rai patently described the crowd present at the disputed structure in July as well as on the crucial day, the frenzy, [the emotional] surcharge of the religious fanatics, as peaceful. This was not only a blatant lie but a deliberate attempt to mislead with the intention to further the political agenda of the BJP. AK Sharan, the seniormost police officer, not only deliberately visited Ayodhya just once despite the gravity of the situation and the judicial restraint on any demolition or construction at the site. He neither responded nor reacted on the 6th of December 1992, not even when the provocative and emotionally charged slogans were being raised and speeches made at Ram Katha Kunj with a view to create an ambience of hatred towards a particular community. He did not give any orders nor took any steps to stop the vandalism and the demolition. He did not even reach the Ram Katha Kunj where the only available public address system had been installed. He never approached the leadership with a request to take any steps nor suggested any means to end the destruction. He failed to prepare any plan for security beforehand or even to acquaint himself with the past happenings at the disputed site or to consider the implications. These lapses are inexcusable for an officer of this rank. He did refer to one solitary traffic plan, which he said had been operationalised on the 6th of December, but failed to produce it before me despite numerous opportunities given for that reason. His intermixing with the local leadership of the temple movement is clear. However, he neglected to create any sources of intelligence amongst the sadhus or sants or the kar sevaks. I cannot refrain from observing specifically that officers like AK Sharan, DB Rai, SP Gaur, RN Srivastava [district magistrate. Faizabad], etc were in fact not merely officers of the government, as they posed, but really the representatives of the political party in power and of the organisers of the movement and the political executive and charged with the task of promoting and achieving the promises made by the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc for creating a Hindu Rashtra.
52.7 Kalyan Singh made a sweeping statement that the transfers were made in the course of administration. It does not appear to be so in the case of transfers of the complete administration, particularly connected with the Ayodhya administration or district Faizabad. Merely stating that officers were put in the posts they deserved cannot be accepted, especially in view of the statement of the DGP before the commission. Equally telling is the commissioner’s admission that in 1990 the police and administration were hostile to the kar sevaks and vice versa while in 1992 the police and administration were neutral and rather friendly, particularly when the organisers or their party were partners in the government. The state government tacitly used to affirm the claim of the protagonists of the temple movement that the government of the state of UP of the time was of them, by them and for them. Further, though other subordinates accepted and asserted that the instructions issued orally or otherwise were compiled and kept in the form of notings in their official record, no such record was produced before me. I find truth in it, as in the ordinary course of the process of governance, it is an accepted norm.
52.8 The chief minister had assumed all the powers to transfer in or out officers, etc, in his own hands. In addition, he also took direct control of all issues or matters connected directly or otherwise with Ayodhya. All powers converged in these hands. He made full use of this unregulated power. He neither had any such delegated authority nor in fact or in law or otherwise was it so delegated to him. The local administration was given instructions from time to time, to comply with the decisions taken at the highest level. The DGP, police [SVM Tripathi]; AK Sharan, IG; US Bajpai, DIG [Faizabad] as well as the commissioner of Faizabad admitted that oral directions used to be given to the local administration from time to time without any record being maintained of the instructions or orders given. …
53.1 The chief minister, on assuming office, administratively took all latent and patent measures or steps, orally or otherwise, to ensure that no force of any nature was used against kar sevaks or leaders or the organisers and protagonists of the temple construction movement or the sadhus, sants, and, if one may say so, the sangh parivar. Chief Minister Kalyan Singh directed against the use of force against kar sevaks or leaders or the organisers and protagonists of the temple construction movement or the sadhus, sants…
53.2 In December , the chief minister ordered in writing not to open fire on kar sevaks, etc in any eventuality. Requisitioning the paramilitary forces after getting permission from the government in December 1992, the chief minister pointed out that the administration did not have the authority to act or discharge its statutory obligations without formal orders from the government to requisition paramilitary forces in case of need. The conduct of the administration in totality shows that they had completely surrendered all statutory power and discretion to their political executive.
53.3 Anju Gupta [security officer attached to LK Advani] stated that a call for kar seva was given by LK Advani, MM Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Ashok Singhal, etc. She further stated that in a brief meeting on the 5th of December 1992, taken by AK Sharan, IG, measures required to be taken in the eventuality of an attack/assault on the disputed structure were discussed by Haridas Rao [ADGP, law and order] and CK Malik [IG, security]. She said that the route of the leaders whom she was escorting was altered by Vinay Katiyar. Paramhans Ramchandra Das admitted [that] crowd management during the religious festival was done by the administration; no other organisation takes it on exclusively. [Anju Gupta] stated that 50 people of the Bajrang Dal were doing so yet, in view of the fact admitted by all the witnesses as well as by the administration and the organisers, that RSS workers (swayamsevaks) were deployed for it, no further observations are required on it. …
53.6 It cannot be denied that there was no restraint in the language of the speeches or in the provocative slogans or during press interviews, etc. The slogans and intemperate language was even videotaped and produced before the commission. Swami Chinmayanand, even after giving an undertaking to the Supreme Court, incited the kar sevaks by saying that the undertaking was only meant for satisfying the Supreme Court. Such instances and the slogans are well reported in the media and were accepted before the commission as well. The administration took no action in such a blatant case of [defiance and ridicule] of the hon’ble Supreme Court.
53.7 Prakash Singh on a question posed by the advocate general, admitted that the forces are affected by these utterances and discourses and, consciously or subconsciously, are prejudiced. There cannot be any dispute again that highly emotional and provocative religious speeches, during the course of the so-called attempts for awakening the injured feelings of Hindus by referring to the history of hundreds of years, were made to politically awaken and unite them. Still the administration did not take any steps to contain them, either at Ayodhya or at any other place. The administration or the organisers put no restraint on anybody from making provocative speeches or slogan-raising…
53.24 The bureaucracy, police, administration, political executive, legislatures, media, even the common man was alive to the militancy as well as the frenzied nature of the crowds which used to gather at Ayodhya, especially after 1990. Yet no substantial steps were taken for smooth administration, much less ensuring security, particularly in view of the contradictory stand taken by the political executive as well as the party governing the state. That is, on the one hand, proclaiming for providing security to the disputed structure; on the other hand, chief ministers along with cabinet colleagues of BJP-governed states were leading the mobilisation of kar sevaks for construction of the temple, which inherently includes demolition. …
MOBILISATION OF KAR SEVAKS…
SECURITY SET-UP AND ENVIRONMENT…
ORGANISATIONS AND THEIR INTER SE LINKS…
THE JOINT COMMON ENTERPRISE…
THE ASSAULT ON THE MEDIA…
158.1 The RSS and other protagonists have repeatedly tried to use the term mobilise to characterise the aggregation of support for their Ayodhya campaign. However, this is a misnomer and one that necessitates clarification. The inertia that was built up by the rabble-rousing organs of the sangh parivar and inflammatory leaders was focused not on tugging at the emotional heartstrings of the common man and building a consensus for a temple at Ayodhya. Rather, the emphasis was more on shaming the thinking masses into inaction and suppressing any voices of sanity or moderation that might arise.
158.2 Except for the self-serving hyperbole, the Ayodhya campaign did not enjoy the willing and voluntary support of the common person, even of the average Hindu. The campaign did however succeed in silencing him and ensuring that he risked being labelled an atheist or an anti-Hindu, or unpatriotic, in case he tried to evaluate the situation logically or to counter the vituperative tirades of the champions of the campaign.
158.3 Therefore, in that sense, though this report uses the verbiage movement frequently, the demand for a temple at Ayodhya never really became a public movement in the true sense of the word. While traditionally the word movement has been used to denote a collective desire of the public to secure a particular result, the Ayodhya campaign never achieved proportions even close to those levels. The use of the word movement notwithstanding, the Ayodhya episode was never accompanied by a public movement.
158.4 The rallies and yatras were aimed at the emotionally charged common man and to make him a part of the demand for the temple at Ayodhya. These measures did not succeed until the BJP joined in.
158.5 The mobilisation required logistical support for accommodating the incoming masses in tents and other shelters, providing foods and other necessities for their boarding and lodging. Facilities had to be provided not only for the kar sevaks but also for their leaders. As observed earlier, to sustain the frenzy of the kar sevaks, it was necessary to make arrangements for crowds and the many impromptu rallies. It was sustained and further hyped up by the daily public meetings held at the Ram Katha Kunj since 1.12.1992.
158.6 As is evident from the evidence, in order to support the prerequisites for such a movement, the finances required were channelled from the coffers of the various sangh parivar organisations through various banks to accounts held in the names of various organisations and individuals to carry out the innumerable acts needed for the movement.
158.7 Apart from the inflow of the cash from unidentifiable sources, cash was also transferred and transacted through banks to the recipient organisations. The RSS, VHP, BJP and also the other members of the sangh parivar raised funds for conducting the movement from time to time. The recipient organisations were mostly the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Bharat Kalyan Pratishthan, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Paduka Pujan Nidhi, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Shri Ram Shila Pujan, Jan Hiteshi, and the accounts were operated by Omkar Bhave, Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Nritya Gopal Das, Gurjan Singh and Narad Saran, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Nana Bhagwat, Jaswant Rai Gupta, BP Toshniwal, Sitaram Agarwal, Ashok Singhal, Rameshwar Dyal, Prem Nath, Champat Rai, Surya Krishan, Yashwant Bhatt, Avdesh Kumar Das Shastri, etc.
158.8 In short, suffice it to say that the amounts transacted exceeded many tens of crores of rupees which were utilised for effecting the events of December 6th, 1992.
158.9 The utilisation of such huge monies is a categorical pointer to the planning and preplanning carried out for the entire process of the movement commencing with mobilisation onwards right up till the very demolition itself. Prognosis of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the mobilisation of the kar sevaks and their convergence to Ayodhya and Faizabad was neither spontaneous nor voluntary. It was well orchestrated and planned. In conformity with the army-like discipline of the organisations like the RSS, the manner in which the arrangements and mobilisation was carried out does not corroborate the theory that the convergence or the mobilisation of such a large number of kar sevaks was for symbolic kar seva alone.
158.10 The theory or the claim made by the leaders of the movement or the icons from political or social organisations does not carry conviction to conclude that the demolition was carried out by the kar sevaks spontaneously out of sheer anger or emotions. The mode of assault, the small number of kar sevaks who carried out the demolition and the constraints of the space to accommodate the number of people, veiling of the identity of the kar sevaks entering the domes, the removal of the idols and the cash box from under the dome and the subsequent reinstallation in the makeshift temple, construction of the makeshift temple, availability of instruments and material for demolition and for the swift construction of the makeshift temple, categorically leads to the conclusion and finding that the demolition was carried out with great painstaking preparation and preplanning. The involvement of quite a number of kar sevaks for carrying out the demolition ordinarily could not have been kept secret from people like the chief minister who admittedly has a number of sources of information; or from KS Sudarshan who was heading the RSS while their swayamsevaks were detailed on the spot for each and every act required to be carried out; or local leaders like Vinay Katiyar or Ashok Singhal or the persons present at the spot prior to December 6th, 1992.
159 The sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances relating to, the occurrence in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex at Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992 involving the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure
159.1 The factual matrix, and the contextual elements leading up to the demolition of the three-domed disputed structure in Ayodhya, has been painstakingly laid out in this report. The voluminous evidence tendered before the commission, as well as the statements of the large number of witnesses, has been finely distilled and after winnowing the chaff from the grain, the entire timeline, shorn of the obfuscating embroidery by loquacious persons, has been laid bare for posterity.
159.2 The factual matrix presented in the preceding chapters is supported by strong, undeniable and documentary evidence for the most part.
159.3 The single-minded agenda of the RSS and the VHP, and the extremely patient and focused manner in which the handful of ideologues and theologians manipulated the common masses and turned them into a frenzied mob capable of acts of the greatest depravity agenda, is unparalleled in recent times.
159.4 It is established that the events of and leading up to the 6th of December in the birthplace of the virtuous Lord Ram, considered an incarnation of god and the ideal king, were tainted by a joint conspiratorial enterprise. A handful of malevolent leaders unabashedly invoked the name of the paragon of tolerance to turn peaceful communities into intolerant hordes.
159.5 The factual matrix also yields indisputable evidence that lured by the prospect of power or wealth, a rank of leaders emerged within the BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, etc who were neither guided by any ideology nor imbued with any dogma nor restrained by any moral trepidation. These leaders saw the “Ayodhya Issue” as their road to success and sped down this highway mindless of the casualties they scattered about. These leaders were the executioners wielding the sword handed to them by the ideologues.
159.6 The hands that tore down the disputed structure and shredded the very fabric of society belonged to the common man. He had no reason to fear or hate the masonry structure or the neighbour with whom he and his family had lived in peace till the moment that his better sense was drowned in the cacophony of religious righteousness and the zealot’s rhetoric. Mobs by their very nature are incapable of discerning right from wrong. The remorse which is their constant shadow for the remainder of their mortal lives is their highest punishment.
159.7 I discharge my obligation to answer this first question by referring to the vast body of information which has been aggregated in this report. No part of it is so trivial, nor so remarkable that it can be abstracted from the whole and reproduced here. The events have been chronicled with as much authenticity as possible and I leave history to adjudge the results.
160. The role played by the chief minister, members of the council of ministers, officials of the government of Uttar Pradesh and by the individuals, concerned organisations and agencies in or in connection with the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure
160.1 The destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure was carried out in a duplicitous and underhanded manner. It was an act not worthy of a democratically elected government of a constituent state of this great nation.
160.2 The government and administration of a state is the repository of the trust, hopes, aspirations and faith of the people. Whether a government is elected into office with a thumping majority or otherwise, it represents not just those who voted it into power, or even those who are enfranchised, but also those who do not or are not able to participate in the polls or were opposed to them or those who hold a contrary or different view.
160.3 A government which remains faithful to its mandate need not adopt any underhanded or dishonourable methods for any purpose. As the nominee of the people, its actions carry the people’s sanction and are beyond reproof. But when a government has to adopt base methods to mask and conceal its intent, it is obvious that the actions of the government are without sanction of law and without the sanction of the people.
160.4 The BJP’s claim that it was carrying out the people’s mandate makes it inexplicable why it had to resort to subterfuge in order to effect the destruction of the disputed structure. The very fact that the chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, its ministers and its mandarins supported the destruction with tacit, open, active and material support at every step but did not make it part of the officially stated agenda lends overwhelming credence to the fact that they were aware of the gross illegality and impropriety they were guilty of. It would be reasonable to conclude that they were conscious of their acts and conduct ensuring the achievement of their concealed intent to demolish the disputed structure.
160.5 Kalyan Singh, his ministers and his handpicked bureaucrats created man-made and cataclysmic circumstances which could result in no consequences other than the demolition of the disputed structure and broadened the cleavage between the two religious communities, resulting in massacres all over the country. They denuded the state of every legal, moral and statutory restraint and wilfully enabled and facilitated the wanton destruction and the ensuing anarchy.
160.6 While dealing with the role of the administration in detail in my report, I have dilated on the role of specific members of the de jure and the de facto government of Uttar Pradesh at the time. The parallel government run by the RSS has also been exposed and analysed in my report. There is no manner of doubt admissible in the culpability and responsibility of the chief minister, his ministers and his cohorts who were hand-picked to occupy selected posts. Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Ashok Singhal, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Vamdev, KS Sudarshan, HV Seshadri, Lalji Tandon, Kalraj Mishra, Govindacharya and others named in my report formed this complete cartel led by Kalyan Singh and supported by the icons of the movement like LK Advani, MM Joshi, AB Vajpayee.
160.7 Chief Minister Kalyan Singh stood on guard against the possibility of any pre-emptive or preventive action by the central government or the Supreme Court of India or the other courts or any other institution. He and his trusted lieutenants spared no lie before the highest authorities of the land to befool them and to tie their hands with the niceties of our constitutional democracy.
160.8 There were few who resisted the betrayal of democracy; those who did were swiftly removed, sidelined and rendered toothless. The police, the district magistracy, the local administration and the state machinery was covetousness personified. Their personal desires and their single-minded pursuit of personal gain cast dark shadows on their very training, professional ethos and their responsibilities. It prevented them from ensuring the majesty of law. The police and the administration were openly supporting the RSS and its agenda. The coercive forces of law were used only against those who opposed the de facto parallel government and not against those who were violating the Indian Constitution and ethos.
160.9 The central government was crippled by the failure of the intelligence agencies to provide an analysis of the situation. It stayed its hand, deferring to the hon’ble Supreme Court which had taken up the matter and was dealing with it by giving appropriate directions. The Supreme Court was in turn misled by the pretentious undertakings given to it by the Uttar Pradesh government and the leadership of the movement and the all-is-well reports by its rapporteur, Tej Shankar. Without the proverbial leg to stand on, there was little either could have done to forestall the determination of the perverted guardians of democracy who were in control in Uttar Pradesh.
160.10 The RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, BJP, etc and their inter se relationship have been subjected to a detailed study in my report, and their relationship with the de jure powers. These organisations are collectively an immense and awesome entity with a shrewd brain, a wide encompassing sweep and the crushing strength of a mob. The leadership provided by the RSS, BJP, VHP and the other mutating and constantly transforming organisations like the Hindu Mahasabha and the Jan Sangh, in furtherance of the suspect theories of the founders of these organisations, was consistent and unabashed. The ends are all that matter to the core group of thinkers and the destruction of the disputed structure was only one victorious battle in their ongoing campaign against secularism and the multicultural society, clothed in the garb of religion, regions, reservations, castes, etc.
160.11 In my report, I have, to the best of my ability and knowledge, dealt at length with the wily schemes to undermine secularism by articulating its meaning. The RSS, BJP and VHP core have turned the tables – they have redefined secularism and turned the definition on its head to mean the exact opposite of what it has always been held to be and understood all over the world. Their version of secularism is neither benign nor tolerant of the ideals enshrined in our Constitution.
160.12 Their infiltration of the government and of the administration of the state of Uttar Pradesh was complete. Its traces and remnants are still thriving all over the country and still pose as grave a threat as ever. It had and continues to spread in scope to encompass every pillar of the constitutional system.
160.13 I must therefore answer this question posed by the Parliament emphatically by pointing the finger at the chief minister, members of the council of ministers, the officials of the government of Uttar Pradesh who systematically eliminated all impediments, and at the RSS and the BJP and their allies which filled the void with malevolence.
161. The deficiencies in the security measures and other arrangements as prescribed or operated in practice by the government of Uttar Pradesh which might have contributed to the events that took place in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, Ayodhya town and Faizabad, on 6th December, 1992
161.1 The security apparatus in the state of Uttar Pradesh was theoretically or on paper capable of handling any and all threats resulting from the emotional, political, communal and religious fervour which had gripped the state and the twin cities of Ayodhya and Faizabad.
161.2 The theoretical capability was however shackled, hobbled and rendered nugatory by a systemic programme of scaling down the security measures which would be deemed insufficient even in normal circumstances to regulate even a peaceful crowd, much less deal with unexpected exigencies, natural or otherwise, let alone in the extraordinary conditions which had been deliberately built up and precipitated leading up to the 6th of December 1992.
161.3 The chief minister as the de facto and de jure head of the state had unbridled powers to effect or dismantle the law and order infrastructure. These powers vested in the chief minister by the statute and by conventions were capable of being moderated or checked only by a vigilant and honest civil and police service or the judiciary.
161.4 The chief minister, Kalyan Singh, on assuming office, embarked on a focused mission to replace the administrative and police officers who were inclined to resist a change in the status quo or who demonstrated the slightest hesitation in conniving, supporting or collaborating with the new de facto leadership which was gradually taking control in Ayodhya and Faizabad. In my report, I have quoted instances of senior officers peremptorily being posted to other parts of the state and pliant officers being nominated to fill their positions.
161.5 These postings and transfers had the singular intent, purpose and effect of smoothening the ride for the demolition which the RSS and BJP had made a part of their election campaign. This was the plank on which they had managed to secure the chief-ministership for Kalyan Singh and this was the test case which the resurgent RSS, BJP and VHP wanted to make a success of. Similar electoral promises were used to wrest power in some other states as well.
161.6 The second step after ensuring the presence of a benign police and administrative set-up was to ensure that the hands that wielded the batons and carried the guns were friendly to the kar sevaks and did not pose any potential threat to the kar seva. This gratuitous dismantling was secured by posting raw untested personnel or trainees and sympathetic provincial armed constabulary in the twin towns. The sympathy of these men who were constantly exposed to the religious fervour and harangues of the eloquent RSS and VHP preachers were with the crowds and they would probably not have acted even if they could. They had been turned into uniformed kar sevaks rather than protectors.
161.7 The hands of these troops were already tied by the chief minister’s unequivocal orders to the rank and file that they were to desist from the use of force or resort to firing in any circumstances against the kar sevaks or their leaders. The well-documented orders prohibiting the use of firearms or force against the kar sevaks and the organisers were also allowed to be interpreted as a forbearance of use even of less deadly methods such as tear gas or the plain old lathis. Instead of using the riot shields to oppose the violent kar sevaks, they were actually handed over willingly to them by the police personnel and used or misused by them.
161.8 When push came to shove, the senior police officers were at hand to ensure that their men toed the line and that the demolition of the disputed structure was allowed to go ahead with military precision as orchestrated by the leaders present at the spot and carried out by their henchmen whom they refused to identify even before me.
161.9 The physical security had already been downgraded to desultory levels. The levelling of the surrounding topography made it easy for the people to congregate and rush the disputed structure. The earth that had been excavated had been dumped around the perimeter wall and the Ram Dewar and acted as convenient ramps for scaling these meagre barriers. The electronic measures, including closed-circuit televisions, metal detectors, etc, were intentionally rendered inoperative and ineffective by the administration to ensure anonymity of the miscreants and easy access to the disputed structure.
161.10 Even with the vast resources of the most populous state of the country, the state government did not arrange even for a single video camera to record the events which were unfolding, for posterity. The grand scale at which the arrangements had been made, with the active participation of the state machinery, could not have escaped the attention of any functionary of the state or blinded them to the necessity of keeping a close record of the events which the organisers had promised would be monumental. Even the closed-circuit television cameras, which the state government had promised the central government would be monitoring every inch of the disputed structure, were either inoperative or their footage has been hidden away from the eyes of the public and this commission. In either case, the results are a betrayal of the nation and of history.
161.11 By far the worst sin of omission of the state government was leaking into the public domain the information that the police personnel had been hobbled and would not react or retaliate under any circumstances. Emboldened by the self-confessed handicap of the law enforcement agencies of the state, the kar sevaks were not constrained by any concerns of self-preservation or personal safety and enjoyed a free hand. All the categories of kar sevaks – whether they were present because of political, monetary or religious considerations – were aware that they were at zero risk from the state’s agencies.
161.12 The only non-manageable variable – from the sangh parivar’s point of view – was the possible deployment of central forces in the state, either at the behest of the central government or sanctioned by the Supreme Court. This threat was also neutralised by senior and well-respected individuals stating blatant lies on oath before the Supreme Court, apart from protesting against even the stationing of central paramilitary forces sent for the specific purpose of providing sufficient numbers of forces to be deployed by the state for the security of the disputed structure.
161.13 Even the forces earlier demanded by the state government, and sent by the central government, for security purposes were intentionally taken away from the scene and deployed at faraway places under the garb of meeting the threat of terrorism.
161.14 The role of the Supreme Court’s observer in not alerting the court to the clearly unfolding duplicity is also something that raises concerns about the impartiality and objectivity of the officer who was hand-picked by the high court of Uttar Pradesh. Even at the moment that the domes were being pulled down he was not at the spot, having been delayed by his family members whom he had brought along to witness the spectacle.
161.15 To sum up, December 6th, 1992 saw a state of Uttar Pradesh unwilling and unable to uphold the majesty of the law. The ennui flowed from the very office of the chief minister downwards and infected the state’s minions down till the bottom. The state had become a willing ally and co-conspirator in the joint common enterprise to announce the revival of a rabid breed of Hindutva by demolishing the structure they had denounced as a symbol of Islam.
162. The sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances relating to, the assault on media persons at Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992
162.1 A democratic nation needs a press at all times. The presence of the media is an inherent requirement for ensuring a government of, by and for the people. It is the independent press which ensures that all actions of the government take place within full public gaze.
162.2 There is no requirement that the media must be unbiased or independent or that it must not take sides. On the contrary, a successful democracy requires that the media must be of all hues and colours and that each interest group is able to project and portray its point of view through those outlets which are sympathetic to it.
162.3 The media ought not to be constrained to a single “party line” or conform to a uniform way of thought. It is the very presence of diverse views which ensure that the people are able to make informed choices in the first place.
162.4 Needless to say, the freedom to expound on a particular set of beliefs necessarily includes a responsibility not to offend or to transgress boundaries of legality, morality and [conscience]. But within these boundaries of common good, the media cannot be, and ought not to be, restrained.
162.5 Being able to tolerate an opposing point of view and countering it with logic, reasoning and words is what is required of a matured polity. The story of and about the media in 1992 in India is a study in what needs to be avoided at all costs by a mature nation.
162.6 The reporting of events in 1992 was possibly not as tactful and mature as it could have been. In reporting, some sections of the media overshot the restraints of commonplace prudence and were perceived as inimical to one or the other sides to the artificial dispute which had taken the country’s polity by storm. The close patronage of certain newspapers, journals and electronic media by one or the other interest groups tended to expose them to allegations of malice and bias against the others.
162.7 The authors of the entire campaign were under no illusions about the illegality and immorality of their intended actions. They were aware about the likely outrage their deeds were likely to elicit around the nation and internationally, even from sections of the Hindu community. They were alert to the possibility of the top leadership of the BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, etc being subjected to censure on the basis of any hard evidence which might be forthcoming.
162.8 To frustrate the attempts of future investigations, including efforts by commissions like this one, the leadership at the spot had evolved a common strategy to deny the world an accurate record of the unfolding events.
162.9 The first step in this direction was to ascertain the identity of the journalists who were present at the spot. The accreditation of the media was entrusted to their own cadres who were thereby able to create and maintain accurate records of the media presence. The identities of the press corps, the various organisations, the specific locations, etc were obtained during the accreditation process.
162.10 The media was allowed ingress into the twin cities and into the Ram Janmabhoomi complex and the disputed site under the watchful glare of the kar sevaks and their leaders. Dramatic situations were precipitated to paint the foreign and domestic media with hostile colours and the stage was set to instigate the mobs of kar sevaks against them.
162.11 As soon as the preprogrammed assault on the structure commenced, the journalists were subjected to systematic harassment and they were not only prevented from carrying on their duties as chroniclers of the events but were also instilled with a real fear for their own safety. The reporters were confined to small rooms or molested or otherwise threatened so that their attention was less on the events they were supposed to cover and more on their very survival.
162.12 The memories and notes of the reporters could be – and were – denied later on. But photographs and video recordings could have proven damning for the leadership. Photojournalists therefore became recipients of especially violent treatment at the hands of the kar sevaks. They were physically prevented from taking photographs or videotaping the demolition; their equipment was smashed and their exposed films were ripped open and ruined. Precious few photographs or recordings of the incidents thus managed to surface.
162.13 The protestations of the state administration are patently hollow and have been critically analysed in this report. Specific incidents, statements and evidence have been referred to and presented to expose the falsity and duplicity of the state government.
162.14 The media was polarised around the time, which is a natural occurrence in any civilised society. The answer to a biased story is to be found by controverting it in the same or another paper. The vitriolic pen must only be repelled by another pen.
162.15 Some small sections of the media were possibly guilty of incitement or malicious reporting. But that cannot ever constitute valid grounds for the strangulation of the media as was done in Uttar Pradesh in 1992.
162.16 The government of Uttar Pradesh was guilty and it had abdicated its responsibility to the media, just as they had abdicated governance and forsaken the very rule of law. By their sins of omission as well as commission, they incited, facilitated and organised the assault on the free press.
162.17 The media was consciously targeted by the kar sevaks on the directions of their leaders. It was a preplanned enterprise and closely coordinated by those who ensured the demolition of the structures that Mir Baqi allegedly erected.
162.18 The leadership tried to criminally intimidate, assault and obstruct the media personnel. There can be no justification for the criminality of the actions of the leaders and participants of the temple construction movement. The attack on the media is in itself an admission by the perpetrators of the events of December 6th, 1992 that they were aware of the illegality of their acts.
163. Any other matter related to the subject of inquiry
163.1 The residual question within the scope of this inquiry is capable of encompassing innumerable matters which came to my attention during the course of my efforts and which cannot be encapsulated even in this long-drawn inquiry, given limited human capacities. I must not however transgress judicial propriety by taking on some of the issues even though they have a significant bearing on the subject matter of my report.
163.2 For instance, the intransigent stance of the high court of Uttar Pradesh, the obdurate attitude of the governor, the inexplicable irresponsibility of the Supreme Court’s observer and the short-sightedness of the Supreme Court itself are fascinating and complex stories, the depths of which I must not plumb.
163.3 Historians, journalists and jurists may – and should – explore these dimensions and tell these untold stories for the benefit of the current and unborn generations. But these cannot, unfortunately, be dwelt upon in this report although I have neither suppressed nor minced words about these at the appropriate places and in appropriate contexts in my report.
164. The standards of culpability
164.1 For the purpose of quantifying the culpability, the various persons and organisations named in this report at various places have been divided into three groups.
164.2 The first group represents those who bear the primary and the greatest responsibility for the events of December 6th, 1992. They are responsible for the events which built up to that climax. These people had complete knowledge of the events as they were scripted. These individuals and organisations were a part of the decision-making process or were instrumental in the assault on the disputed structures and the other associated incidents within the purview of this inquiry. Those found guilty of primary responsibility had the means to prevent the assaults; they were the active leaders of the cadres and without their participation, none of the events of, and leading up to, December 6th, 1992 would have occurred.
164.3 The second group consists of those who bear physical, ideological and intellectual responsibility. These persons and organisations were not decision-makers and could not change the course charted by those bearing primary responsibility. Nevertheless, without their sins of commission or omission, the situation would not have deteriorated as much as it did. These include those who portrayed the benign face of the Ayodhya campaign and gave false reassurances to the courts, the people and the nation as a whole.
164.4 Those who have been put in the second category in these conclusions are referred to as “pseudo-moderates” in contrast to the radicals forming part of the first group. This is not to suggest that their objectives do or do not differ from the radicals’. The term is used indicative of the modes that these people adopted rather than the ends they may have been trying to achieve.
164.5 It may be probable that the pseudo-moderate elements, while being committed to the erection of a Ram temple, were interested for political expediency in exploring the possibility of its coexistence with the disputed structure, at least for the time being. The other distinction between the radicals and the pseudo-moderates is also that the latter had the construction of the temple on its primary agenda while the former were more fanatical about the demolition of what they called a national shame.
164.6 There are also those who bear tertiary responsibility for the situation. These people may or may not have been associated with the sangh parivar or had any influence over the situation at all. However, it was their sworn and statutory duty to prevent exactly the kind of events which took place around the 6th of December 1992. They were either required by their statutory duties as officers of the state, or as responsible leaders of the people, to prevent or at the very least to register vociferous protests, in which they failed. Their complicity stems from their sins of omission rather than of commission.
164.7 Between these three classes of actors lies the entire spectrum of those responsible for the events at Ayodhya. This painstaking and time-consuming inquiry has made it painfully clear that but for these three concentric groups, Ayodhya was a non-issue and would not have occupied any amount of time of even a religious-minded citizen of India.
164.8 However, the core group of the primary accused, cloaked and shielded by those in the secondary group, and with the inaction and cluelessness of the tertiary group, managed to reduce one of the greatest nations and one of the oldest civilisations to a spate of stark intolerance and barbarianism – all for petty political gains.
165. The sangh parivar
165.1 The blame or the credit for the entire temple construction movement at Ayodhya must necessarily be attributed to the sangh parivar. As already discussed elsewhere in this report, the sangh parivar is an extensive and widespread organic body which encompasses organisations which address and assimilate just about every type of social, professional or other demographic grouping of individuals.
165.2 The parivar is a highly successful and corporatised model of a political party and as the Ayodhya campaign demonstrates, has developed a highly efficient organisational structure. Each time a new demographic group has emerged, the sangh parivar has hived off some of its RSS inner-core leadership to harness that group and bring it within the fold, enhancing the voter base of the parivar.
165.3 While the structure or the methods of the sangh parivar for aggregating a substantial public base may neither be illegal nor strictly objectionable, the use of this gargantuan whole for the purpose of the Ayodhya campaign was clearly against the letter and spirit of Indian law and ethos.
165.4 The sangh parivar had spent long years and mobilised its immense media clout to numb the sensibilities of the masses and at the very least to ensure the complete absence of resistance to its designs. The attempts by the pseudo-moderate elements even within the parivar were predictably of little significance and were destined to fail, whether by design or otherwise.
165.5 As the inner core of the parivar, the top leadership of the RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and the BJP bear primary responsibility.
166. The pseudo-moderate elements within the parivar
166.1 The conundrum which fixed the commission during its long hearings and extensive fact-finding efforts was to reconcile the stance of the public face of the sangh parivar with the actions which defied law, morality and political ethics.
166.2 On one hand, the leaders like AB Vajpayee, Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani, who are the undeniable public face and leaders of the BJP and thus of the parivar, constantly protested their innocence and denounced the events of December 1992. Appearing as a witness before the commission, Advani sought to reiterate his anguish at the demolition of the disputed structure and was at pains to state that he had never made any inflammatory statement even during his rath yatras.
166.3 On the other hand, it stands established beyond doubt that the events of the day were neither spontaneous nor unplanned nor an unforeseen overflowing of the people’s emotions nor the result of a foreign conspiracy as some overly imaginative people have tried to suggest.
166.4 In such a case, the logical questions that beg to be answered are whether the pseudo-moderates knew what was going on, whether they were in fact the prime movers of the show, whether they were in control of the parivar and finally, could they have done anything to prevent the demolition and subsequent violence?
166.5 The commission, having had the benefit of tens of thousands of pages worth of press reports, books, official records and documentation and having analysed many hours of audio and video recordings and having observed the witnesses, is unable to hold even these pseudo-moderates innocent of any wrongdoings.
166.6 It cannot be assumed even for a moment that LK Advani, AB Vajpayee or MM Joshi did not know the designs of the sangh parivar. Even though these leaders were deemed and used by the parivar as the publicly acceptable faces and the articulated voices of the parivar and thus used to reassure the cautious masses, they were party to the decisions which had been taken.
166.7 These people, who may be called pseudo-moderates, could not have defied the mandate of the sangh parivar and more specifically, the diktat of the RSS, without having bowed out of public life as leaders of the BJP. They were not in control of the RSS and had absolutely no influence over the direction that they had been told to follow. The pseudo-moderate leadership of the BJP was as much a tool in the hands of the RSS as any other organisation or entity and these leaders stood to inherit the political successes engineered by the RSS.
166.8 The BJP was and remains an appendage of the RSS which had the purpose only of providing an acceptable veneer to the less popular decisions and a facade for the brash members of the sangh parivar. The much repeated and much denied remarks attributed to Govindacharya, who called Vajpayee a mukhota, or mask, may be more appropriately applied to the BJP’s top leadership at the time collectively. Without leaders like Joshi, Advani and Vajpayee, the RSS might have been able to achieve de facto clout but would not have been able to legitimise its hold on the Indian system by translating that clout into political success.
166.9 The BJP was therefore an essential ingredient in the parivar smorgasbord and essential to capture de jure power and authority in furtherance of its goals of establishing the Hindu Rashtra.
166.10 Be that as it may, the evidence that has been led before the commission does not show that the pseudo-moderates were in charge of the situation, much less capable of changing the course that the campaign was taking. It stands proved that the pseudo-moderates were charged with the task of projecting the RSS’s decisions in the best possible light and to translate them into terms which would be acceptable to the general masses. The role of the BJP pseudo-moderates thereafter came to an end and beyond acting as translators, could do little more.
166.11 These leaders cannot however be given the benefit of the doubt and exonerated of culpability. The defence of “superior orders” has historically never been available and least of all to those whom the people have trusted and voted into power.
166.12 These leaders have violated the trust of the people and have allowed their actions to be dictated not by the voters but by a small group of individuals who have used them to implement agendas unsanctioned by the will of the common person. There can be no greater betrayal or crime in a democracy and this commission has no hesitation in condemning these pseudo-moderates for their sins of omission.
167. The Muslim organisations
167.1 Selective communal Muslim leaders, obsessed with building personal or individual influence or following for enhancing their political influence and for self-gain, were merely bystanders during this entire period and put forth a dismal performance. While the RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and the BJP brought the temple construction movement to the front burner and caused it to boil over, the fanatic Muslim leadership making the counterclaim were either completely complacent and had no substantial or effective leadership or were simply incompetent in projecting their own lopsided counterview to the people throughout the half century leading up to the 6th of December 1992. Their feeble attempts after 1983 to present a blinkered view of history were without researched substance and therefore possibly incapable of being believed.
167.2 The BMAC [Babri Masjid Action Committee] and later the AIBMAC [All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee] never set up or presented any claim to the disputed structure in any negotiation with the intervention of any person or at any time and their stand was a merely simpliciter denial of the claims of the sangh parivar which too underwent changes and shifts and articulation with the passage of time. The Muslim and Hindu leadership’s shrill cries echoed the divisive and mischievous sentiments which had been heard around 1947 and which continue to cast a dark shadow on the age-old ethos of this great land.
167.3 The Muslim leadership did little to counter the latent fears stoked up by the RSS and VHP leadership and instead provided it with the opportunity to embark on what started out as a defensive strategy. Unfortunately, a sizeable number of Indians still feel that the Muslims of India should be treated as a deprived class despite the centuries long Mughal-Muslim rule in India.
167.4 The Muslim leadership provided the rabid Hindu ideologues sufficient cause to instil fear into the common citizen of India. Whether the political Muslim leadership represented the views of the average Muslim citizen of India is highly doubtful. The elite political Muslim leadership constituted a class by itself and was neither responsible to nor caring for the welfare of those they purported to champion.
167.5 Those who were pretending and to this day those who pretend to speak for those who are the downtrodden only highlight the differences between the people and prevent the integration of the people within the mainstream of the country. In any case, it is inexplicable why the people belonging to the same community which effectively ruled the country for centuries not too long ago should not endeavour, struggle, compete, thrive and succeed in all segments of national life like every other citizen of India and without having to rely on their religious difference to seek special privileges.
167.6 It is impossible to fight a war or to recruit warriors without the presence of an adversary. The presence of the enemy is the prerequisite for unrest and discord. The Muslim leadership wittingly or unwittingly fulfilled this requirement for the founders of the RSS and the VHP.
167.7 The Muslim leadership failed the community and its electorate not only in being unable to put forth a logical, cohesive and consistent point of view, within and outside the courtroom, but also failed to protect the life and property of the innocent masses who got caught up in the post facto riots. The Muslim leadership was conspicuous by its absence from the national debates and its failure to protest effectively against the events which were building up to a crescendo.
167.8 In a parliamentary democracy, there is undoubtedly sufficient space for an effective opposition to function without being labelled unpatriotic or without having to be defensive. However, possibly for fear of being labelled anti-Indian or anti-national, the Muslim leadership did precious little to counter the distortions of history that were being bandied about by the sangh parivar to whip up the country into a frenzy. The Muslim leadership, including the AIBMAC, also failed to highlight the extremely high-handed and extralegal methods adopted half a century ago to install the idols in the disputed structure or to open the locks on the gates.
167.9 The failure of the Muslim leadership could not by itself be responsible for the events of December 1992 but the sins of omission of the Muslim leadership certainly made the sangh parivar’s task much easier.
167.10 This commission holds these organisations and individuals guilty at a tertiary level, for their failure to effectively champion the cause of their constituents, and of the neutrals, and for their failure as an effective democratic opposition.
168. The civil servants and police officers of Uttar Pradesh
168.1 The civil service founded by Lord Cornwallis was meant to provide continuity in governance. Speaking at the inauguration of the Indian Institute of Public Administration at Delhi in 1954, Jawaharlal Nehru offered these words of advice to the civil servants: “Administration is meant to achieve something and not to exist in some kind of an ivory tower following certain rules of procedure and Narcissus-like looking on itself with complete satisfaction. The test, after all, is the human being and their welfare.”
168.2 The decay and erosion in the values of the civil service were all too apparent in Uttar Pradesh in the years leading up to 1992. The civil service in the state failed in its primary responsibility to provide good governance and actively abetted the demolition of every democratic safeguard provided in the Constitution. I have no hesitation in holding that they became a part and parcel of the political parties governing at a particular point of time and actively participated in achieving the election manifesto and perpetuating the reign of the political party in power, even at the cost of their colleagues. They attempted and succeeded in achieving this objective and reaped the benefit of plum post-retirement offices and even gubernatorial appointments.
168.3 With utter disregard for the very ideals with which the services were established, the administrative and the police officers had become as polarised and as power-conscious as the politicians. The successive elections determine not just the fate of the politicians but also the fate of these policemen and civil servants. Those who position themselves closer to one party or the other actively start seeking greener pastures elsewhere the moment their mentors lose power.
168.4 The civil service which was meant to act as the continual font of governance and welfare of the people has itself become caught up in the political wangling against which they were intended to insulate the common man. The police who was supposed to protect and preserve the life and property of the common man was similarly negligent of its sworn duties.
168.5 The police and civil servants in Uttar Pradesh were the product of the degradation in the civil services which has become even more pronounced in recent times. The administrative officers, the police and selective sections of the bureaucracy was a part and parcel of the cartel of the BJP chief minister and willingly helped it achieve its election manifesto, propagate the caste and communal-oriented politics and in his attempt to perpetuate the rule of the political party in power. They failed to discharge their solemn duties as a counterbalance to the political executive in the administration. They could have at least attempted to stem the tide of communalism and the rape of democracy. But they chose to remain deaf, dumb and blind throughout and instead became a willing part of the cartel.
168.6 The police and the bureaucrats of the state not just turned a blind eye to the misadventures of the polity but actively connived and curried favour with the chief minister and the sangh parivar by systematically paralysing the state machinery. Their sins are highlighted by their being rewarded with plum postings after the demolition as well as tickets for contesting elections.
168.7 It is an open secret that unprecedented mass transfers were carried out by Kalyan Singh on taking office of the chief minister. Those police officers and civil servants who could have stopped the pillage of democracy had already been transferred out by the BJP government when it came to power in the state, on a large scale, even against the advice of the heads of departments. Replacement officers were posted on the advice of the local leadership or political leadership because of their pliability. Those who were in charge of the state executive thereafter aided and abetted the dismantling of the security apparatus.
168.8 The police and the administrators were the executors of the designs of the RSS, VHP, BJP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, etc.
169. The government, chief minister and the cabinet of Uttar Pradesh
169.1 Immediately after entering into office, the government of Uttar Pradesh headed by Kalyan Singh embarked on the [programme] leading up to the events of December 6th, 1992.
169.2 The Kalyan Singh government systematically and in a preplanned manner removed inconvenient bureaucrats from positions of power, dismantled and diluted the security apparatus and infrastructure, lied consistently to the high court and the Supreme Court of India and to the people of India to evade constitutional governance and thus betrayed the confidence of the electorate.
169.3 Even at the height of the crisis in December 1992, Kalyan Singh maintained a studied silence and refused to allow even a single measure which might impede the Ayodhya campaign or prevent the assault on the disputed structures, the journalists or the innocent public.
169.4 The chief minister and his cabinet disarmed the security forces, neutralised the defensive barricades around the site, embargoed the use of any meaningful force even against the highly unruly mobs which had gathered and subverted every possible measure which could have saved the day.
169.5 Before, during and even after the demolition of the disputed structure had been accomplished, Kalyan Singh and his henchmen proudly owned up to and proclaimed the demolition to be their great success. Even in his post-demolition speeches, Kalyan Singh claimed all credit for the demolition and in fact sought to glorify their role by equating themselves with the heroes of the 1857 first war of independence. In the aftermath of the demolition when the possibility of an inquiry or prosecution was still not a certainty, these leaders did not mince words in claiming all credit. They claimed to be martyrs in the great cause of Lord Ram.
169.6 The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and his cabinet members consciously allowed the writ of the extra-constitutional authority i.e. the RSS to run in the state. All the steps taken by the state or the sangh parivar, BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena or the Dharam Sansad, Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal, had the implied consent of the RSS or those RSS members who had been “lent” to the BJP. Rather, it was the swayamsevaks of the RSS who carried out the programmes or execution at the spot. The chief minister and his cabinet were the proverbial insiders who caused the collapse of the entire system. Kalyan Singh resisted every attempt at persuading him to act in a responsible manner and to notice the ground realities. Even when it was brought to his notice that the disputed structure had been demolished and mobs were attacking the Muslim populace of Ayodhya, he did not direct the police to use force or resort to firing to chase away the miscreants or to save the lives of those wretched innocents whose only crime was that they lived in the twin city area and belonged to the Muslim community. The wanton violence against human life and property continued unabated and even at that late stage the chief minister did not use the central forces which could have been swiftly deployed.
169.7 Without the BJP’s chief minister, Kalyan Singh, and his cabinet colleagues or the icons of the movement or of the BJP, the Ayodhya campaign could not have succeeded at all. A similar situation in the past had been handled by an earlier chief minister denying the miscreants the opportunity to wreak havoc as they later did in 1992.
169.8 Kalyan Singh’s government was the essential component needed by the sangh parivar for its purposes. Kalyan Singh lived up to the expectations of the parivar.
170. The attacks on the press
“It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr Wilkinson Still Safe” or “Mr Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet”. They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complex picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.”
– GK Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross (1910)
170.1 The press is as much a moderating influence as it is a catalyst for change. The media can influence the minds of the people like no other pillar of modern society; wars can be fought and won or lost without a single shot being fired just by effectively using the media.
170.2 The media was a protagonist in the build-up to the events of December 6th, 1992. It was also a victim of the events of the day.
170.3 The sangh parivar used the media masterfully in its campaign. It has been suggested that the broadcast of television serials of a religious theme was part of the campaign to sensitise the masses and to make religion a burning topic in the Hindu psyche. That may or may not be the case and it would be unwarranted to comment on these far-fetched fantastic theories.
170.4 A part of the media lent itself willingly to being used throughout the Ayodhya campaign. The inflammatory speeches of the more vocal elements were gleefully reported and sensationalised. The liberalised and newly launched mass media organisations at the time, including private satellite channels, stoked the need for ferreting out newsy items which could be reported. These were ideal conditions for a media-savvy parivar to get maximum public exposure and to canvass its agenda – or at least the BJP-sanitised version of its agenda – to the entire country. The journalists were equally happy at having access to material which was capable of weaning the masses off the staid government-run television networks or the old-school print media.
170.5 The media reports of the time, as well as the subsequent political careers of those journalists, reveal a clear bias in the press in either direction. The media was polarised and was perceived to be friendly and inimical to the interests of the parivar. The media managers of the parivar were conscious of the fact that while their actions would be projected in a positive light by one section of the media, the other sections were going to be far more critical.
170.6 On the 6th of December 1992 the parivar had made arrangements ostensibly for facilitating access to the disputed site for the media representatives. It is clear from the evidence available with the commission that all the media representatives had been issued passes which were to enable ingress into the disputed area and access to the leaders who had assembled there. This was an obvious and irresistible bait for the media personnel, who registered themselves to avail of the access and facilities promised.
170.7 This issuance of passes admittedly by the sangh parivar rather than the state government also enabled the leadership to have an exact idea of the presence and movement of the media personnel.
170.8 It is also established by the evidence on record that kar sevaks attacked the media personnel at the same time as the commencement of the assault on the disputed structure. There was no provocation offered by the media, which was sought to be stated as the cause of these attacks. There were some suggestions that the media, in particular a German TV crew, had earlier offended the kar sevaks by staging humiliating scenes, etc. There is little substance in these allegations and none that can form the basis for justifying the subsequent attacks on December the 6th. Even the top leadership like KS Sudarshan went to the other extreme by propounding the imaginative theory about the alleged provocation of kar sevaks by a German television crew. It was brought to his attention specifically by a reputed journalist like Mark Tully that journalists were being beaten up and he gave an assurance that he would bring it to the notice of Ashok Singhal. I cannot conclude other than that he was one of the main authors of the demolition.
170.9 The evidence also shows that the attacks were targeted primarily against journalists who were carrying recording equipment. The cameras, video recorders and the audio recorders were smashed up and even the exposed films and used tapes were systematically destroyed. The intent and effect of these attacks thus become crystal-clear.
170.10 The attacks were meant to prevent any video or audio evidence of the participants in the assault and subsequent attacks. It must also be borne in mind that the state government has not admitted to being in possession of any independent video or audio recordings either. There are extremely few recordings which have surfaced and which have been entered into evidence.
170.11 The attacks were clearly synchronised to prevent the media from being able to authoritatively pinpoint the instigators and the perpetrators and to foreclose the possibility of using their footage to identify the modus operandi of the miscreants.
170.12 It would be unsatisfactory to attribute these attacks to the average kar sevak. These were preplanned attacks and had been demonstrably assigned to a specialised team of RSS cadre and was coordinated and guided by the effective leadership at the spot.
171. Individual culpability
171.1 For leading the country to the brink of communal discord, this commission finds the following persons culpable:
171.1.1 Acharya Dharmendra Dev (Member, Dharam Sansad)
171.1.2 Acharya Giriraj Kishore (Leader, VHP)
171.1.3 AK Sharan (Inspector-General of Police, [Lucknow zone])
171.1.4 Akhilesh Mehrotra (Additional Superintendent of Police, Faizabad)
171.1.5 Ashok Singhal (Leader, VHP)
171.1.6 Ashok Sinha [Alok Sinha] (Secretary, Tourism)
171.1.7 AB Vajpayee (Leader, BJP)
171.1.8 Badri Prasad Toshniwal (Leader, VHP)
171.1.9 Baikunth Lal Sharma (Leader, VHP)
171.1.10 Balasaheb Thackeray (Leader, Shiv Sena)
171.1.11 BP Singhal (Leader, VHP)
171.1.12 Brahm Dutt Dwivedi (Revenue Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.13 Champat Rai (Local Construction Manager)
171.1.14 Dau Dayal Khanna (Leader, BJP)
171.1.15 DB Roy [DB Rai] (Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad district)
171.1.16 Devraha Baba (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.17 Gurjan Singh (VHP, RSS)
171.1.18 GM Lodha (Leader, BJP)
171.1.19 Govindacharya (Leader, RSS)
171.1.20 HV Seshadri (Leader, RSS)
171.1.21 Jai Bhagwan Goyal (Leader, Shiv Sena)
171.1.22 Jai Bhan Singh Pawaria (Leader, Bajrang Dal, Ayodhya)
171.1.23 KS Sudarshan (Leader, RSS)
171.1.24 Kalraj Mishra (President, Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP)
171.1.25 Kalyan Singh (Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.26 Kushabhau Thakre (Leader, RSS)
171.1.27 Lalji Tandon (Energy Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.28 Lallu Singh Chauhan (MLA, BJP, Ayodhya)
171.1.29 Lal Krishna Advani (Leader, BJP)
171.1.30 Mahant Avaidyanath (Leader, Hindu Mahasabha)
171.1.31 Mahant Nritya Gopal Das (Leader, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas)
171.1.32 Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das (Leader, VHP)
171.1.33 Moreshwar Dinanath Save (Leader, Shiv Sena)
171.1.34 Morpanth Pingale (Shiv Sena)
171.1.35 Murli Manohar Joshi (Leader, BJP)
171.1.36 Om Pratap Singh
171.1.37 Omkar Bhave (Leader, VHP)
171.1.38 Pramod Mahajan (Leader, BJP)
171.1.39 Praveen Togadia (Leader, VHP)
171.1.40 Prabhat Kumar (Principal Secretary, Home)
171.1.41 Purushottam Narain Singh (Secretary, VHP)
171.1.42 Rajendra Gupta (Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.43 Rajendra Singh, Professor alias Rajju Bhaiya (Leader, RSS)
171.1.44 Ram Shankar Agnihotri (BJP, VHP Leader)
171.1.45 Ram Vilas Vedanti (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.46 RK Gupta (Finance Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.47 RN Srivastava (District Magistrate, Faizabad)
171.1.48 Sadhvi Ritambhara (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.49 Shankersinh Vaghela (President, Gujarat BJP, Leader, BJP)
171.1.50 Satish Pradhan (Leader, Shiv Sena)
171.1.51 Shri Chander Dixit [Shrish Chandra Dikshit] (Leader, BJP)
171.1.52 Sitaram Agarwal
171.1.53 SP Gaur (Commissioner, [Faizabad division])
171.1.54 Sunder Singh Bhandari (Leader, BJP)
171.1.55 Surya Pertap Sahi [Surya Pratap Shahi] (State Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.56 Swami Chinmayanand (Leader, VHP)
171.1.57 Swami Sachidanand Sakshi alias Sakshiji Maharaj (Leader, BJP)
171.1.58 SVM Tripathi (Director General of Police, [Uttar Pradesh])
171.1.59 Swami Satmit Ramji (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.60 Swami Satyanandji (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.61 Swami Vamdevji (Leader, Sant Samaj)
171.1.62 Uma Bharti (Leader, VHP)
171.1.63 UP Bajpai (Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Faizabad)
171.1.64 Vijaya Raje Scindia (Leader, BJP)
171.1.65 VK Saxena (Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh)
171.1.66 Vinay Katiyar (Leader, RSS)
171.1.67 Vishnu Hari Dalmia (Leader, VHP)
171.1.68 Youdh Nath Pandey (Leader, Shiv Sena)
172.1 The constitutional scheme to separate religion from politics was intended to insulate the issues of governance from those of theology. While it may be useful and indeed desirable to import certain aspects of ethics and morality into the political arena, the use of religion, caste or regionalism is a regressive and dangerous trend, capable of alienating people and dividing them into small sections.
172.2 The events of December 6th, 1992 and the many subsequent events have already shown to the nation the danger and the disruptive potential of allowing the intermixing of religion and politics.
172.3 It is imperative therefore for the people, acting through their elected representatives, to undertake an objective study of whether or not the existing constitutional, statutory and institutional safeguards have proven to be efficacious. It seems highly probable from a cursory study of recent affairs that the measures adopted so far have been overly optimistic and have not entirely succeeded in providing secular governance, unaffected and uncoloured by religious or regional affiliations.
172.4 It is high time that institutions like the National Integration Council were conferred statutory powers. This or any other similar organisation which is set up must call upon the participation of well-known and highly regarded leaders of religious communities and social workers from all over the country, particularly [those] who are not affiliated with any political party, to find ways and means to implement secularism as envisaged by the Constitution. The participants or the ones invited should thereafter be barred from holding any constitutional office or office of profit or public office or from participation in any political activity.
172.5 Political leaders, holders of constitutional offices, offices of profit, public office and especially those holding cabinet positions or other similar positions of responsibility sometimes simultaneously hold offices in religious organisations, charities and trusts constituted on religious grounds, etc. The temptation to allow one’s judgement in one sphere to influence opinions in the other is irresistible and easily leads to dissatisfaction and disenchantment in the other sections of the population.
172.6 The extraneous interference in democratic affairs for acquiring political power through criminalisation of political office or mixing of political and religious affairs has become the order of the day.
172.7 A special separate law providing for exemplary punishment for misuse of religion, caste, etc for political gains or illicit acquisition of political or other power ought to be enacted. Regional tribunals for ensuring swift prosecution and effective implementation of the law ought to be set up in the four corners of the country.
172.8 The desirability of establishing a Criminal Justice Commission should be examined, which would comprehensively monitor the performance of all law enforcement agencies and apply corrective measures wherever needed.
172.9 The threat from communal violence needs to be dealt with firmly. Specialised investigating squads need to be formed under the state criminal investigation agencies and communal offences or crimes committed during communal riots ought to be vigorously investigated. Governments should not be able to withdraw charges relating to communal riots.
172.10 The Election Commission of India must also ensure that any complaints brought before it by any citizen of the country, of attempts to misuse religious sentiments or to appeal to voters through the mode of their piety, whether by holding thinly disguised electoral rallies in places of worship or posing as political supplications to god, must result in swift action and possible disqualifications.
172.11 This subject requires the consideration not just of the Parliament of India but also of religious leaders and statesmen alike. While I cannot prescribe a code of conduct or regulations for the running of the democratic process, I must recommend that the demerger of religion and politics must be studied and implemented at the earliest.
172.12 It is inherently unfair, immoral and legally dubious to hold democracy hostage to religious and casteist blackmail. The separation of state and religion has been debated at great length in every age and has found favour in almost every organised civilised society.
172.13 The Constitution of India is an endorsement of this principle of separation and goes on to clarify in unequivocal terms that the Indian union does not eschew religion or declare an irreligious state.
172.14 The liberties granted to individuals and religious aggregations extend to such activities which can be construed purely for the welfare of the general public, members of that religious aggregation or for preserving and promoting its culture. The intermixing of the two aspects of human social life is neither envisaged nor permitted under the Constitution or law.
172.15 The negative covenants specifically bar the state from discriminating against any religious denomination. As a necessary and inescapable corollary, the injunction against state patronage of any religion has to be read within these provisions and has been thus treated ever since the inception of this Constitution.
172.16 The next logical conclusion must therefore be that a government which is formed on the premise of religion or which has religious issues on its political agenda must also be barred. A government which is formed by professing its support to a particular religion or which has a religious issue or purpose as its stated agenda must therefore fall foul of the explicit and implicit proscriptions of the Constitution.
172.17 I must therefore recommend and reiterate the views of numerous statesmen that in order to achieve the ideal of a secular state, the incorporation of religious agenda within political manifestos or electoral promises is made an electoral offence and should incur summary disqualification for the individual, or for the political party if such blatant resort to the religious and casteist sentiment is part of the party’s substantive poll plank.
172.18 It is my considered recommendation that the Parliament, legislatures, elected governments and the political parties themselves must rededicate themselves to ensuring a secular India, whether strengthening existing provisions in the Codes of Conduct or in election-related laws.
172.19 It is high time that the Parliament constituted an assembly to look into the working of the Constitution and the shortfalls observed or noticed in the years since its inception, and to suggest requisite steps for remedying them.
173. Civil services
173.1 The enforcement of law and the maintenance of order in the society depend upon a responsive, efficient and upright police force and bureaucracy. In present times the police and the bureaucracy face a crisis of confidence. The general public rightly or wrongly does not trust either as a protector or as an honest enforcer of the laws. This perception is reflected in the appointment of numerous committees and commissions by the Parliament to study and propose reforms. The Law Commission too has examined the various shortcomings which exist in the infrastructure today.
173.2 The efforts of these acknowledged reform experts has been published and presented in a plethora of reports which are available in the public domain. A conspectus of these reports reveals a clear consensus of the ills which plague the current system. The problems which have been documented and widely commented upon include the nexus between the police and the politician or the bureaucrat and the politician, the rampant corruption which exists at the bottom and at the top levels, the stark, insensitive and unhelpful nature of the front-line forces, the deplorable state of training and the reliance on brute force rather than scientific investigation techniques. These same reports also present a wide spectrum of solutions from which once again a common set of suggestions can be distilled.
173.3 Unfortunately, these reports have remained dead letters and the recommendations have not been implemented in a cohesive, systematic and workable manner. The few attempts at police reforms have been patchy at best and have found resistance not only from within the police forces but also from the criminal bar as well as some states worried about the implications for the state-union relations.
173.4 I do not wish to reinvent the wheel nor claim to be an expert on the subject. However, an exhaustive analysis of the facts and circumstances which resulted in the events of December 6th, 1992 in the backdrop of these reports on the policing or bureaucratic system makes it abundantly clear that the failure to take the law enforcement agencies and systems into the 21st century has contributed and continues to contribute to a state of lawlessness.
173.5 The nexus between the politician and the policeman or the bureaucrat needs to be disrupted; the confidence of the common man needs to be restored in the police officer and the administrator. Experts have already written lengthy monographs on the subject and suggested specific changes. We need to ensure that these reforms are undertaken holistically at the earliest.
173.6 Specific offences that have interstate, national and international dimensions should be declared federal offences and investigated by a special crimes division of the Central Bureau of Investigation, which should function under the administrative control of the ministry of home affairs.
173.7 The problem of a politically and religiously biased civil service and police service is particularly vexatious. The civil servant or police officer who professes or practises closeness to a political or religious leader and who thereby allows it to colour his objective discharge of duties is an anathema to good governance.
173.8 The root cause of the problem may possibly lie in the very process which is used to recruit these officers. Just as in areas requiring excellence, such as the profession of medicine, the profession of governance cannot admit of candidates whose merit is not of proven providence.
173.9 It serves little purpose to squander the skills and talents of a doctor or an engineer by posting them to positions requiring a combination of skills, including administration, diplomacy, logic and legal acumen. The civil servants who are posted at the helm of affairs ought to be picked for the skills that they are required to exercise rather than for completely unrelated academic skills or for casteist or regional basis.
173.10 It is inexplicable how our current system takes the brightest academicians of the country and based only on their inter se merit, trains them variously as specialists in foreign service, revenue, police, administrative or a veritable spectrum of “lesser” civil services. The aptitude, training, experience and suitability of a particular candidate are of the least concern of the current recruitment process.
173.11 It is also inherently dangerous and unsatisfactory to allow civil servants to seek patronage of political or religious leaders. The en masse exodus of civil servants from positions of power after each election is the best evidence of the malaise that affects our system.
173.12 In the first half of their careers most officers fall prey to extraneous influence for securing transfers and postings or other benefits for themselves. In the latter half the emphasis is equally on finding out and securing a roosting ground for their post-retirement period.
173.13 It is therefore my recommendation that the recruitment into the civil and police services should be extensively revamped and recruitment on the basis of aptitude, education, training and experience should be preferred over recruitment on the basis of academic excellence in unrelated fields.
173.14 It may be particularly useful to conduct periodic exercises of screening the members of the civil and police services to identify and weed out the communal or biased elements.
173.15 I also recommend that the nexus between the politicians, religious leaders, civil servants and police officers should be disrupted and rooted out. Civil servants ought also to be barred from holding offices of profit after their retirement. A tenure policy should be put in place to prevent illegitimate political interference in police and administrative functioning.
173.16 Judicial prudence and the fact that I have not been given a mandate on administrative reforms preclude me from giving any concrete recommendations on specific administrative reforms. Be that as it may, the urgent need for reforms to the recruitment, service conditions, service regulations and post-retirement avenues is writ large.
173.17 The police service in India is a state subject predominantly. The same police personnel who are deputed to man police stations and to investigate crimes can often – though not in all cases – be found to be posted on crowd control and riot control duties.
173.18 The provincial armed police, wherever they have been established, were ostensibly attempts to free these specialised personnel from routine jobs and were expected to be trained in preventive and pre-emptive measures.
173.19 The training and equipment given to these forces is woefully inadequate. Bamboo sticks and flimsy sticks offer scanty protection to these forces and pose little deterrent threat to miscreants. The use of lethal force is rightly eschewed in favour of less deadly methods which at present predominantly include rubber bullets or tear gas.
173.20 The crowd control equipment provided to these forces is at best ad hoc and home-grown or whatever can be locally fabricated. There are few scientifically conducted studies into the efficacy or correct usage of these measures. The training to the peacekeepers is inadequate and equips them neither in the optimum use of whatever material and equipment is available nor in the conduct which they must adhere to.
173.21 A duty to quell an unruly mob must never be confused with a licence to attack, molest or hurt unarmed malcontents or miscreants who may have been whipped up into frenzy by some occurrences or by some vested interests.
173.22 At the same time, the attitude cannot be of all-or-nothing. The riot control officer must not choose only from between an all-out attack or a permissive submission. The riot police must be highly trained to disarm, disperse and render mobs ineffectual without having to resort to objectionable methods.
173.23 What also became painfully obvious was the danger of allowing the guardians of peace to sympathise with miscreants to the extent that they become a part and parcel of the problem instead of the solution. If the sympathies of the men are suspect, the senior officers must replace them immediately by withdrawing them and posting replacement personnel instead. If the senior officers are unable to gauge the emotions and the involvement of their men with the miscreants, the senior officers must be held strictly responsible for their failure.
173.24 Police reforms, in terms of men and equipment, are long overdue. The Indian Police Service has replaced the Imperial Police Service more than half a century ago. The attitude and the methods must also change.
173.25 I recommend the establishment of a centralised riot control constabulary, equipped with modern weapons for crowd control, under the control of the Union of India. The deployment of this force should be made by the central government, independent of state, under its own supervision. A law enabling the central government to take over the administration of a specified geographical area for the purpose of crowd management or for maintaining or restoring peace, particularly when the state government itself is unable or unwilling to take action, should be enacted. It should prescribe the duration for which such a takeover of the administration is possible, subject to strict review by the Parliament. Such a law would be less drastic than the imposition of president’s rule or the dissolution of a legislative assembly.
174. Intelligence agencies
174.1 There are any number of intelligence agencies which exist inside India. Each state has a myriad system of gathering human, electronic and communications intelligence. The union government has a larger number of agencies and operatives at work collecting information as well.
174.2 The institutional and personal jealousies which abound, and which have been extensively written about by insiders and by experts, prevent the bits and pieces of intelligence from being assembled into usable and actionable information.
174.3 There is a strong need today to ensure coordination between the various state and union intelligence agencies, whether they operate within commercial, revenue, police, international or specialised domains.
174.4 It is also imperative that the state’s or union’s intelligence agencies do not become mere appendages of the incumbent government. The use of precious intelligence resources and trained personnel for petty political gains is wholly deplorable and must give way to higher purposes. It is imperative that the state and central intelligence agencies share information and cooperate with each other to ensure the overall welfare of the state and of the people.
175. Centre-state relations
175.1 It is trite that the state and the central government exist for the promotion and welfare of the citizens of India. No state government can claim that it acts only for those people born solely within its boundaries or that it will actively discriminate against those who live outside its area. The caveats that accompany the preceding observation are few and imposed only for particular exigencies or to protect a particularly weaker or underprivileged section of society.
175.2 The state governments and the union government occupy and fulfil complementary domains. The goal of either government is the same and the audience it addresses is also the same. There are hardly any reasons for a state government to treat the union government as an adversary or vice versa. Each has a specific purpose in our constitutional scheme.
175.3 Party politics must come to an end upon the swearing of the oath by a legislator. Upon taking oath, a person ought to cease thinking like a party member and instead assume the larger and loftier role of a statesman and a member of the government. The sworn-in ministers and the chief minister are responsible for protecting and upholding the rights even of those who opposed them at the hustings. The incumbent government is not entitled to discriminate against those who belong to other political parties, religions or castes – the proscription is not only moral but also legal.
175.4 The rivalry and adversarial stance adopted by a state government composed of ministers from one political grouping as against the members of the union government which may be consisting of legislators from a different political party is neither healthy nor warranted.
175.5 As members of a single union, the state governments must therefore trust the union government and expect a reciprocal trust as well.
175.6 The bone of contention between states and the union is frequently the allocation of monies and the siting of industrial, power or other projects which can boost the economy of the host state. It is as much incumbent upon the central government to dole out its largesse equitably as it is for the state governments not to view each other or each other’s domiciles with hostility.
175.7 It is therefore my recommendation that a fresh look at interstate and centre-state relations be undertaken with a view to advance the common good of the people.
176. Religious and cultural sites
176.1 In a land as old as India, and with its rich ancient culture and heritage, it is inevitable that each stone and each structure has a story to tell.
176.2 Our land has been called the cradle of most religions and for that reason there is a proliferation of temples and places connected with each religion all around us.
176.3 The historical cycles, and the rise and fall of each religious movement, has also undeniably seen friction between the various communities, religions and regional rulers.
176.4 The disputes between various groupings about the provenance of monuments, temples and other structures have survived into this day and age and, like in the case of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, are capable of fomenting unnecessary and unwanted trouble and disharmony.
176.5 These are however not issues which can be resolved without the participation of experts. The question whether a structure was a temple or a mosque can only be answered by a scientific study by archaeologists, historians and anthropologists.
176.6 No politician, jurist or journalist, learned though they may be, can provide a comprehensive answer to such questions and any attempt to hijack the issue can only result in the chaotic consequences which resulted in the events of December 6th, 1992.
176.7 It is therefore my recommendation that a statutory national commission be composed of acknowledged experts to delve into these questions of the provenance of historical monuments, artefacts, etc and their determination should be deemed to be definitive and final.
176.8 There should be no hesitation in associating the finest historians, anthropologists and archaeologists from within and outside the country and in equipping these experts with the latest and most sophisticated tools in an attempt not only to finally answer the question of the historical legacy of these places but also to ensure that their findings contribute to harmony and peace between communities, castes and regions.
177. The press
177.1 In his book On Heroes and Hero Worship, Thomas Carlyle quoted British politician Edmund Burke who said “there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.”
177.2 The importance and primacy of the media in a free society cannot be denied.
However, with the enormous privileges that these chroniclers of history enjoy, they must also be alive to the trust that the common man reposes in them.
177.3 Unlike other learned professions like those of doctors or lawyers, the media in India has no professional standards body capable of effectively dealing with yellow journalism. The Press Council of India as it exists today has no authority to hear complaints from persons aggrieved of questionable reporting and effectively punishing a mischievous journalist.
177.4 There is a dire need for a body on the lines of the Medical Council of India or the Bar Council of India, which has a permanent tribunal which can entertain and decide complaints against individual members of the press corps or against newspapers, TV or radio channels as also media conglomerates.
177.5 I strongly recommend that a statutory body be set up to oversee the media in the country. It is highly desirable that journalists ought to be granted licences just like the practitioners of other learned professions and ought to be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension of the right to work as journalists on grounds of proven professional misconduct.