New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) In a claim that tears apart the stand of Sangh Parivar, a book authored by a former top Intelligence Bureau (IB) official says that Babri Masjid demolition was planned 10 months in advance by top leaders of RSS, BJP and VHP and raises questions over the way the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had handled the issue.
It also blames certain close aides of former Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi for his government's failures on various fronts, including in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, while detailing how the Rashtrapati Bhavan was bugged by the PMO when Giani Zail Singh occupied it and how Rajiv paid money to ensure the electoral defeat of his Home Minister Buta Singh.
A compilation of several sensational claims by former IB Joint Director Maloy Krishna Dhar in his book 'Open Secrets-India's Intelligence Unveiled' alleges that the Mandal agitation of 1990 was "inspired, guided and funded" by the Congress under Rajiv Gandhi to topple the government of V P Singh.
Touching on Babri Masjid demolition, the author writes "Around February 1992, soon after the flop 'Ekta Yatra' of Murli Manohar Joshi, I was directed to arrange technical coverage of a key meeting of the BJP/Sangh Parivar. The meeting was to be attended by Lal Krishna Advani, M M Joshi, Rajju Bhaiya (then RSS chief), K S Sudarshan, Vijaya Raje Scindia, H S Sheshadri, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharati and Champat Rai etc," the author says.
Unfazed by questions whether he was worried that the book may cause problems because he was disclosing confidential matters, Dhar told PTI "I have written it after a lot of thinking and consideration." About possibile court cases against him, he said "let's see. Now I have written it. But I don't apprehend any legal problems." The "audio and videotape" contents of the meeting "proved beyond doubt that the high priests of hatred had helped the Sangh Parivar to adopt a strident Hindutva programme soon after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
"The Rajiv interlude had sent them to political oblivion but the lessons learnt during the JP movement and anti-Rajiv campaign had convinced the Parivar leaders that the right moment of history had arrived for the Hindu forces to make a determined bid for political power," he writes in the book.
The book says that the February meeting "proved beyond doubt that they (RSS, BJP, VHP) had drawn up the blueprint of the Hindutva assault in the coming months and choreographed the 'pralaya nritya' (dance of destruction) at Ayodhya in December 1992." "The RSS, BJP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal leaders present in the meeting amply agreed to work in a well-orchestrated manner," the sleuth says.
RSS, BJP and VHP have been maintaining that the demolition was a result of impromptu action by some angry kar sevaks and that the top leadership had tried to stop them.
Pointing out that the tapes were personally handed by him to his boss, Dhar says "I have no doubt that he had shared the chilling contents with the Prime Minister (Rao) and the Home Minister (S B Chavan)." "But the man at the helm of affairs of Indira Congress was an indecisive person. He had regained some jest for life and had started dreaming of short-circuiting the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty... He dithered. And L K Advani and his colleagues crossed the ramparts of history and generated passion that demolished an insignificant mosque...," he remarks.
Referring to the the December 5,1992 meeting of RSS, VHP, BJP and Shiv Sena leaders, including Advani and M M Joshi, the author says "There was silent resoluteness and agreement that Ayodhya offered a unique opportunity to take the Hindutva wave to the peak for deriving political benefit. The iron was hot and this was the time to hit." Dhar, who outlines how he merged with the huge crowds of 'kar sevaks' pretending to be a journalist and got the proceedings shot on December 6,1992, says that vandalism was committed by activists of Shiv Sena while while Sangh Parivar leaders indulged in "irresponsible rhetoric".
"L K Advani had spat fire from the pulpit but he failed to control the flames. Taped videos substantiated that he was progenitor of the tsunami effect that he failed to control at the vital moment of destiny," says the sleuth claiming to have made a videotape and 70 still snaps.
"Much later, soon after the NDA government assumed office in Delhi and the BJP top guns were summoned by the Liberhan Commission to depose before it, I was twice summoned by L K Advani," Dhar reveals. He says Advani wanted to know details of the videotape and "demanded that I should produce it as a piece of evidence.
"I simply did not have any copy of the tape with me. The only copy was consigned to the 'archives' of the IB, somewhere outside Delhi. I gave a verbal account of the event and requested him to obtain the tape from the Director IB." Dhar says he was unsure whether or not the Director IB "obliged" Advani. "The Then Director had established a close rapport with certain officials of the PMO and I was told that he was advised by them to not produce the tape that could take Advani off the hook... Advani was still considered a powerful contender for the office of the Prime Minister." On the anti-Mandal agitation, the former IB official says that it was "far from a spontaneous response" against reservation for the backward castes.
"It was inspired, guided and funded by the Indira Congress and was handled by the Indira Congress trouble-shooters," he says, claiming that a large amount of money was spent on the agitation which came from the "dark chambers of the Indira Congress Party.
"My pipelines in the Indira Congress provided me with exact details about the funding of the 'student agitation' by Rajiv Gandhi's aides. In Delhi alone, an approximate amount of Rs two million (Rs 20 lakh) was spent," the author claims. He alleges that the the agitation had been inspired "because Indira Congress wanted to make it sure that V P Singh did not remain in power a single day more than it was necessary. It was as cruel an experiment as were the experiments committed by Rajiv's younger brother Sanjay.." Dhar accuses Rajiv Gandhi's "mischievous manipulators" of playing with the sentiments of the people, "simply out of spite for a man who had implicated Rajiv and his friends in a couple of scandals.