Impossible to Believe Court Didn't Find Conspiracy Proof: Ex-IAS Officer Who Made Contingency Plan to Save Babri Masjid
File photo of the demolished Babri Masjid.
Madhav Godbole, who was the union home secretary at the time of Babri Masjid demolition, says he finds it difficult to accept there was no criminal conspiracy behind the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
"It comes as a big surprise to me," Godbole says in this interview to News18. CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. The court observed that the demolition was not pre-planned and evidence brought before it was not strong.
In a book he wrote after his retirement, Godble claimed that as the union home secretary, he had prepared a contingency plan to avoid the incident of December 6, 1992. He wrote that the home ministry had recommended to then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao that the structure be taken over by the government by invoking Article 356 of the Constitution. But Narasimha Rao did not accept the Home Ministry's proposal.
Here are excerpts of the conversation:
What are your views about the judgment?
It is impossible to believe that a huge mob of this size could have assembled spontaneously. If this is the verdict that has been declared 28 years after the incident, it is a comment upon our criminal justice system. The Supreme Court itself declared the razing of the structure as a criminal act. That the court did not find any evidence of conspiracy I find it hard to believe.
You wrote to the then PM Narasimha Rao recommending that the structure be taken over by the government by invoking article 356. You say that you went with the contingency plan to the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Prime Minister on November 4, two days before the incident but nothing happened. Why do you think it turned out this way?
[Laughs] That's exactly what happened. Nothing happened. I think Narasimha Rao was not prepared to take a decision on the matter. I think that they did not find invoking article 356 politically acceptable. Beyond that I cannot say anything else. Inferences can be made.
You went to Ayodhya yourself a few days after the structure was razed to the ground. How did you feel about the visit?
Well, all I can say again, is that I find it very difficult to believe that there was no conspiracy. Apparently the court had examined nearly 500 witnesses but found no conspiracy. It comes as a big surprise to me.