Katiyar twice sent me away from dais: IPS officer tells court

An IPS officer on Saturday told a CBI court that she was twice sent away from the dais by BJP leader Vinay Katiyar.

Updated: May 15, 2010, 14:11 PM IST

Rae Bareli: An IPS officer, who said LK Advani had made a provocative speech in Ayodhya moments before the Babri Masjid was demolished by Sangh Parivar activists,
on Saturday told a CBI court that she was twice sent away from the dais by BJP leader Vinay Katiyar.

Anju Gupta, who was the personal security officer of
Advani, was replying to questions by defence counsel during
the hearing of the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Gupta said when she reached the Ram Katha Kunj manch
(dais), where BJP leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma
Bharati, Sadhvi Ritambhara were also present, she was asked by
Katiyar to go to the police control room and change the
direction of Advani`s convoy.

When she returned to the dias, Katiyar told her to again
go to the control room and bring Advani`s car.

During the deposition, Gupta said she had no information
about any order from the Supreme Court permitting symbolic
`kar seva` at the disputed structure on December 6, 2002.

Gupta, the ninth CBI witness in the case, said she only
knew that the apex court had prohibited from performing `kar
seva` to construct the temple.

She was cross-examined by defence counsel H D Sharma for
almost two hours before special CBI court judge Gulab Singh.

The next hearing will take place on June 8.

Gupta was asked by advocate Sharma if she was aware of
the fact that the symbolic `kar seva` was being carried out
under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

The defence counsel also asked whether she was aware of
the SC directive that on December 6, `kar seva` should be
allowed under the supervision of an observer appointed by it.

In her deposition before special CBI court judge Gulab
Singh, Gupta said she was only aware of the Supreme Court
directive prohibiting symbolic `kar seva` for construction of
a temple at the disputed site on December 6.

"With reference to the construction of the temple, I knew
about the Supreme Court`s directive not to allow `kar seva`
for the purpose in Ayodhya," Gupta told the court.

"As I have already said... it was in my knowledge that
the SC had imposed a ban on any `kar seva` to construct the
temple," Gupta added.

The IPS officer was cross-examined for about two hours.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate posted the matter for June 8,
when her cross-examination would continue.

The defence counsel asked her to clarify if she was aware
that the construction of the temple would not start on
December 6, and instead a symbolic `kar seva` would be
performed as per the directives of the SC on the 2.77 acre
land that was acquired for the purpose.

"Officers who were given the duty would have been aware
of what type of kar seva was to be allowed," Gupta replied.

To a question, Gupta declined having either met or having
a conversation with the then District Judge of Moradabad, Tej
Shanker, who was appointed as an observer by the SC.

The defence counsel also asked Gupta if she had informed
Advani about the decision taken at the meeting convened by IG
Police AK Saran on December 5, 2002 where it was decided
to allow `kar seva` the next day.

"As per government rules, we are not allowed to inform
any politician about details of any such meeting", Gupta told
the court.

During her deposition before the court on March 26, Gupta
had said, "On December 6, 1992, Advani made a spirited speech
from Ram Katha Kunj manch (dais), barely 150-200 metres from
the disputed site which charged the people. He repeatedly said
that the temple would be constructed at the same site."

She also said Uma Bharti and Ritambhara motivated people
to demolish the disputed structure.

Gupta, the then Additional Superintendent of Police in
Faizabad, told the court on April 23 that Faizabad Police had
intelligence inputs about possibility of an attack on the
Masjid by `kar sevaks`.

The IPS officer is the ninth CBI witness in the case in
which Advani, his party colleague Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma
Bharti and other Sangh Parivar leaders have been accused of
inciting violence that led to the demolition of the mosque.