Congress reacts cautiously to testimony of IPS officer on Babri demolition

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New Delhi/Rae Bareilly, Mar 27 (ANI): The Congress party has reacted with caution to the deposition of senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Anju Gupta, who was L K Advani's security officer during the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Gupta's statement before a court in Rae Bareilly is crucial in convicting the guilty.

"This (Anju's deposition) is the first official, direct eyewitness testimony in legal and technical sense in this (Babri mosque demolition case) matter. We must exercise restrain and respect the process of law," said Singhvi.

"But, it is extremely serious and, it is extremely important and provisions (of law) involved are extremely serious," he added. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) refused to comment saying the matter is subjudice.This kind of issue (eyewitness account) has also come before the Liberhan Commission. We would not like comment on the judicial process and her (Anju's) testimony in the court," said Ramnath Kovind, a spokesperson of the BJP.

Earlier on Friday, Anju Gupta told a Rae Bareilly Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that Advani delivered incendiary speeches on December 6, 1992, asserting that the temple would be built at the same place.

"She (Anju) has told in the court in detail all the happenings of that day (December 6, 1992). I have completed my (process of witness) examination. I think nearly 60 questions were asked which have been replied. Now, the argument has begun. The honourable court has fixed 23 April for further hearing," said Public Prosecutor P K Chaubey.

Immediately after the riots in 1993, Gupta had told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) how Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and the rest had expressed delight over the demolition of the mosque.

CBI Director Ashwani Kumar had reportedly written to Cabinet Secretary K Chandrashekhar urging him to release Gupta for the important hearing on the Babri Mosque demolition case.

A special Ayodhya court in Rae Bareilly had earlier discharged Advani on the plea that charges against him were based on mere suspicion. The CBI dropped the charge of criminal conspiracy - Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) - in its revised charge sheet submitted before the Rae Bareilly court on the directives of the Allahabad High Court.

The revised chargesheet contained relatively milder sections under the Indian Penal Code - Sections 153-A, 153-B (propagating communal violence), 147, 149 (rioting) and 505 (spreading ill-will). This was believed to be the result of CBI"s failure to press the charges strongly. (ANI)

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