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No word on ISI hand in Babri demolition, cop tells court

Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:02:12 PM, IANS

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Lucknow: Anju Gupta, a senior police officer and key witness in the Babri Mosque demolition case, Thursday refuted the defence contention that Pakistan's intelligence agency was involved in pulling down the 16th century mosque.

During her cross-examination, Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Gupta maintained before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Rae Bareli that the mosque was under greater threat from Hindu karsewaks than Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Hari Dutt Sharma, defence counsel representing senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and other accused in the case, sought to know whether any official warning was sent from the central government to the then zonal inspector general (IG) of police A.K. Sharan, about the possibility of ISI members getting mingled with Hindu karsewaks to carry out their mission of demolishing the mosque.

Gupta told the court, "No such information was on record that ISI can vitiate the communal atmosphere."

The same question was repeated in different forms but Gupta consistently maintained that had any such information been given to police, it would have been on record. "Therefore, there was no basis of the claims made by the defence counsel," she told the court.

While admitting that a passing reference was made by the IG of a vague threat from the ISI, Gupta, who was in charge of Advani's security in Ayodhya at the time of the demolition, said there was nothing specific on that account.

Gupta also refuted defence counsel's claims that the Central Reserve Police Force and the Provincial Armed Constabulary were present in very large numbers at the disputed site.

Gupta also contradicted defence counsel's claim that Advani had left the disputed site well before 6 p.m. that day.

In her statement before the court, Gupta said that Advani was present there well past 7.30 p.m. "The last message about presence of Advani was received on my mobile at 7.45 p.m.," she told the court.

The recording of Gupta's statement concluded around 2 p.m. Defence counsel sought another date for continuation of her cross-examination.

The court deferred the matter for May 15 for further cross-examination of Gupta.



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