Former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Ram Vilas Vedanti (pictured above right) on Friday told reporters that it was he and not Lal Krishna Advani or any other saffron party leaders who had incited karsevaks to raze the Babri Masjid in 1992. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision on Advani’s role in the violence. Vedanti said Advani and other BJP leaders had tried to “calm the karsevaks”, IANS reported.
The former Uttar Pradesh-based legislator said late Ashok Singhal, Mahant Avaidyanath of Gorakhnath Temple and himself were responsible for inciting the Vishwa Hindu Parishad members to destroy the mosque. “He [Advani] had no role in this incident... I brought it down and ensured that it went down,” the former Pratapgarh MLA was quoted as saying.
“It was I who said ‘Ek dhakka aur do, Babri Masjid tod do [Give it another push, demolish Babri Masjid],” Vedanti told reporters.
Earlier on Friday, Muslim Karsevak Manch members arrived at the controversial site in Ayodhya with a truck full of bricks as part of their campaign to build Ram Temple, ANI reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had accused Vedanti and 12 others of conspiring to raze the structure. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had said Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi and others will face a trial based on conspiracy charges in the case.
The Liberhan Commission, which was tasked with investigating what led to the demolition, had mentioned that the three leaders facing trial had made “feeble requests” to karsevaks to come down, NDTV reported. But it speculated over whether their intention was genuine. The “hidden intention of one and all” was to accomplish demolition and these icons of the Ram Janambhoomi could “just as easily” have prevented the demolition, NDTV quoted the commission as observing.
On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks, who had gathered at the site from across the country. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country. The karsevaks had claimed that the land on which the mosque stood was the birthplace of Hindu god Ram.