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Missing Babri files case handed over to CBI

By Sharat Pradhan
Last updated on: July 10, 2009 20:55 IST
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The Mayawati government has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to inquire into the case of missing files relating to the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue.

The state home secretary on Friday lodged an FIR with the local Hazratganj police station. While no one is named in the FIR, the report has been lodged to bring on record that that the department has taken note of the missing files.

This follows scathing observations made by a three-judge special bench of the Allahabad High Court, dealing with the key question -- whether an ancient temple existed at the disputed Ayodhya site before a mosque was erected during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb during the 17th century?

The mosque was razed by Hindu activists on December 6, 1992. Earlier, on Thursday night, the chief minister had ordered a high-level inquiry to be carried out by senior IPS officer Anand Kumar, currently holding charge of one of the three home secretaries of the state. A 10-day deadline was given to the officer for submission of the report .

However, at a high-level meeting convened by the chief minister Friday morning, the wider opinion emerged in favour of a CBI probe.

What gave a suspicious twist to the missing files case was the mysterious death of a home department official, while he was carrying certain Ayodhya-related documents and files to depose before the Liberhan Commission in 2000. The officer, S B Sadh, was then posted as officer on special duty in the Counter Communalism Cell of the state Home department. He had reportedly died on account of a fall from the train between the tracks and the platform while his train was coming to a halt at the New Delhi railway station.

According to unconfirmed reports, the missing files, among other documents, also contained a letter sent by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Uttar Pradesh government, seeking immediate removal of the idol of Lord Ram, that was allegedly planted surreptitiously inside the mosque building , following which the dispute flared up.

The document was a letter from the then Faizabad district magistrate K KNayyar to the government, expressing his inability to remove the idol or to stop the 'bhajan-kirtan' undertaken by Hindu sadhus at the disputed site.

An officer of the erstwhile elite Indian Civil Service, Nayyar subsequently resigned from service and won the next Lok Sabha election from there as a Hindu Mahasabha nominee.

While senior officials of the home department, from where these documents were reported missing, were of the view that the "missing" files would have no bearing on the legal issues pending before the court, Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) convenor and well-known lawyer Zafaryab Jilani claims, "The seven missing documents are absolutely relevant to the case."

According to a home department official, "Since the matter pending before the court relates to the title of the land , exchange of correspondence between the central and state government or other such documents cannot have any legal bearing on the case."

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Sharat Pradhan