Vajpayee, Advani indicted in Liberhan report
New Delhi: The Liberhan Commission has indicted BJP leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and the Sangh Parivar for the Babri Masjid demolition and held them culpable for leading the country "to the brink of communal discord".
The Commission slammed the BJP leaders for their "sins of commission and omission" and accused them of "physical, ideological and intellectual responsibility" for the act.
It also attacked the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh saying the destruction of the disputed structure was carried out in a "duplicitous and underhanded manner" not worthy of a democratically-elected government.
The Liberhan Commission report, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, has indicted 68 persons in all and found them culpable for communal discord. Apart from former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Deputy LK Advani, the others indicted include:
1. Acharya Dharmendra Dev (Member, Dharam Sansad)
2. Acharya Giriraj Kishore (Leader, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
3. A K Saran (IG. Security)
4. Akhilesh Mehrotra (Additional Superintendent of Police, Faizabad)
5. Ashok Singhal (Leader, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
6. Ashok Sinha (Secretary Tourism)
7. Badri Prasad Toshniwal (Leader, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
8. Baikunth Lal Sharma (Leader, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
9. Bala Sahib Thackeray (Leader, Shiv Sena)
10. B P Singhal (Leader, Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
11. Braham Dutt Divedi (Revenue Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
12. Champat Rai (Local Construction Manager)
13. Dau Dayal Khanna (Leader, Bharatiya Janata Party)
14. D B Roy (Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad district)
15. Devraha Baba (Leader, Sant Samaj)
16. Gurjan Singh (Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS)
17. G M Lodha (Leader, BJP)
18. Govindacharya (Leader, RSS)
19. H V Sheshadri (Leader, RSS)
20. Jai Bhagwan Goyal (Leader, Shiv Sena)
21. Jai Bhan Singh Pawaria (Leader, Bajrang Dal Ayodhya)
22. K S Sudarshan (Leader, RSS)
23. Kalraj Mishra (President, Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP)
24. Kalyan Singh (Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
25. Khushabhau Thackray (Leader, RSS)
26. Lal Ji Tandon (Energy Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
27. Lallu Singh Chauhan (MLA BJP Ayodhya)
28. Mahant Avaidhyanath (Leader, Hindu Mahasabha)
29. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das (Leader, Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas)
30. Mahant Paramhans Ran Chander Dass (Leader, VHP)
31. Moreshwar Dinanant Save (Leader, Shiv Sena)
32. Morpanth Pingale (Shiv Sena)
33. Murli Manohar Joshi (Leader, BJP)
34. Om Pratap Singh
35. Onkar Bhava (Leader, VHP)
36. Pramod Mahajan (Leader, BJP)
37. Parveen Togadia (Leader, VHP)
38. Prabhat Kumar (Principal Secretary home)
39. Purshottam Narain Singh (Secretary, VHP)
40. Rajendra Gupta (Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
41. Rajender Singh, Professor alias Raju Bhaiyya (Leader, RSS)
42. Ram Shankar Agnihotri (BJP, VHP leader)
43. Ram Vilas Vedanti (Leader Sant Samaj)
44. R K Gupta (Finance Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
45. R N Shrivastava (District Magistrate, Faizabad)
46. Sadhivi Ritambara (Leader Sant Samaj)
47. Shanker Singh Vaghela (President, Gujarat BJP)
48. Satish Pradhan (Leader, Shiv Sena)
49. Shri Chander Dixit (Leader, BJP)
50. Sita Ram Aggarwal
51. S P Gaur (Commissioner, Utter Pradesh)
52. Sunder Singh Bhandari (Leader, BJP)
53. Surya Pertap Sahi (State Minister, Uttar Pradesh)
54. Swami Chinmayanand (leader VHP)
55. Swami Sachidanand Sakshi alias Sakshiji Maharaj (Leader, BJP)
56. S V M Tripathi (DGP)
57. Swami Satmit Ram Ji (Leader, Sant Samaj)
58. Swami Satyanandji, (Leader, Sant Samaj)
59. Swami Vam Devji (Leader, Sant Samaj)
60. Uma Bharti (Leader, VHP)
61. U P Bajpai (DIG, Faizabad)
62. Vijayraje Scindia (Leader, BJP)
63. V K Saxena (Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh)
64. Vinay Katiyar (Leader, RSS)
65. Vishnu Hari Dalmia (Leader, VHP)
66. Youdh Nath Pandey (Leader, Shiv Sena)
But with the Liberhan Commission and the government - in its action taken report - not recommending any punitive action those named, no fresh cases would be filed against those indicted. In effect, the law will take its own course in the lower courts in Uttar Pradesh.
Vajpayee, Advani were pseudo-moderates
A former high court judge, MS Liberhan in his report has called Vajpayee, Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as "pseudo-moderates" and condemned them for their role in the demolition.
The report says: “The attempts by the pseudo-moderate elements within the Parivar were predictably of little significance and were destined to fail, whether by design or otherwise.”
On Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi, the report said: "These leaders cannot however be given the benefit of the doubt and exonerated of culpability.
"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 the Commission has no hesitation in condemning these pseudo-moderates of their sins of omission," it added.
December 6 was planned
The report said the "blame or the credit" for the entire Ram temple movement at Ayodhya must necessarily be attributed to the Sangh Parivar.
"... it stands established beyond doubt that the events of the day were neither spontaneous nor unplanned nor an unforeseen overflowing of the people`s emotion, nor the result of a foreign conspiracy as some overly imaginative people have tried to suggest," the 1,029-page report said.
"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."
"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."
"As the inner core of the Parivar, the top leadership of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and the BJP bear primary responsibility," it added.
Questions on Vajpayee’s indictment
However, with the government, in its action taken report, not naming anybody against punitive action needs to be taken, it remains to be seen what the findings of the report are meant to achieve.
More importantly, Atal Bihari Vajpayee being indicted, without never ever being questioned, makes the government vulnerable to further attacks by the BJP over the report.
The Commission also came down heavily on
mixing politics and religion and has recommended a law
providing for exemplary punishment for such misuse to acquire
The report said that the Constitutional scheme to
separate religion from politics was intended to insulate
issues of governance from those of theology.
The Commission said "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."
Nobody figures in government’s ATR
The report of the Commission, which was
submitted in June, was tabled in
both Houses of Parliament by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The 13-page action taken report (ATR), also tabled by the
Home Minister, said the government accepted the recommendation
and is contemplating enactment of the Communal Violence Bill
to prevent and control riots and setting up special courts to
deal with them.
The ATR makes no reference to the indictment of top BJP
leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan
Singh and leaders of various Sangh Parivar outfits made in the
The Commission was constituted ten days after the
demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6,
Justice Liberhan said the events of December 6, 1992 and
the many subsequent events have already shown to the nation
the danger and the disruptive potential of allowing the
inter-mixing of religion and politics.
He said 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.
New law needed to prevent misuse of religion
The Commission has called for the enactment of a separate law to provide exemplary punishment for
misuse of religion, caste, etc. for political gains or illicit
acquisition of political or other powers.
"Regional tribunals for ensuring swift prosecution and
effective implementation of the law ought to be set up in the
four corners of the country," the report said.
With agency inputs
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