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Misdirected Investigation


Quite obviously, the Babri Masjid did not demolish itself. It was brought down by an out of control frenzied mob on 6 December, 1992. Twenty-eight years later, the CBI’s case against those it accused of a ‘conspiracy’ to destroy it fell flat and all the 32 accused were exonerated by the CBI trial court.

So, what went wrong (for the CBI)? It is just another case that has been upturned by politics. Instead of nabbing those who actually brought down the structure, regarding which – even at that time – considerable evidence existed, political pressure ensured that leaders of the Hindutva Brigade were targeted instead. It was a case of vendetta rather than simple detective work. Many of those who took part in the demolition had not come with the intent to bring down the structure, but it is almost a certainty that a core group took deliberate advantage of the situation created by the public meeting at the site to carry out a pre-conceived plan. Others joined in later. These are the persons who should have been identified and nabbed; instead of those that the court has accepted actually attempted to stop the demolition. It must be recalled that there were groups that had, later on, openly claimed responsibility for the act.

It must not be forgotten that the BJP immediately paid a heavy political price, with Chief Minister Kalyan Singh submitting his resignation and imposition of President’s Rule in UP. Soon after, BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh were dismissed by the Narasimha Rao Government. Would a BJP led movement create a situation in which its own governments would be sacrificed? Would they keep their own UP Chief Minister in the dark?

Despite these obvious contradictions, the ruling Congress and state governments of other parties worked hard to target leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, etc., instead of putting the actual culprits in jail. This strategy boomeranged badly leading to the present political configuration. Even now, the Congress, IUML, etc., have demanded that the CBI challenge the verdict in a higher court. This is likely, but only for legal reasons, not political ones.
The primary flaw lies in the lack of professional skills in India’s investigative agencies. Their success rate is dismally low. The CBI’s failures are many – from the Rampur Tiraha investigation to the ongoing Sushant Singh Rajput case – it seems incapable of discovering the truth. Instead, political compulsions are seen to prevail. Its capabilities need to be enhanced, even if this requires seeking the help of foreign agencies like the FBI. Otherwise the failures will keep lining up.