Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Ayodhya report put to parliament

Demonstrators on the Babri mosque
Demonstrators tore the mosque down using hammers and their bare hands

The Indian government has presented in parliament an inquiry into the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque.

Parliament was in uproar on Monday with the main opposition BJP party reacting angrily to reports that its top leaders were implicated in the demolition.

Excerpts leaked from the inquiry report blamed senior BJP figures, including Atal Behari Vajpayee and LK Advani.

The mosque was brought down by a Hindu mob and some 2,000 people died in riots across India after its demolition.

The 900-page Liberhan commission report was submitted to the government in June but its contents were not made public.

Led by former high court judge MS Liberhan, the inquiry took 17 years to complete its work, at a cost of more than 65m rupees ($1.3m).


Home Minister P Chidambaram submitted the report in parliament at 12 noon (0630GMT).

A scuffle broke out in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of parliament) immediately after the report was presented.

Angry BJP lawmakers shouted slogans and many of them ran into the well of the House. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm.

Set up in December 1992 days after Ayodhya mosque demolition
Led by Justice MS Liberhan, a sitting high court judge
Had about 400 sittings, 48 extensions and lasted almost 17 years
Questioned powerful figures including former prime ministers
Submitted its report to the government in June 2009

Details about the commission's findings appeared in the Indian media on Monday.

The inquiry is believed to have said that the build-up to the demolition of the mosque had been meticulously planned and described BJP leaders as "pseudo-moderates".

The report apparently exonerated the Congress prime minister at the time, PV Narasimha Rao, of any responsibility - it said the federal government could not act in the absence of any recommendation from the state governor.

BJP leaders accused the Congress party-led government of "selective leaks" to distract attention from the economy and corruption - and demanded parliament see the report immediately.

Home Minister P Chidambaram denied his ministry was behind the "unfortunate" leak.

The site of the 16th Century Babri Masjid had been a focus for Hindu-Muslim hostility for decades. On 6 December 1992 a mob of Hindu militants tore the mosque down.

Rioters claimed the site had been a temple marking the birthplace of the Hindu God Ram.

The destruction of the mosque was one of the most divisive events in Indian history and led to Hindu-Muslim riots across the country in which more than 2,000 people were killed.

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