Nearly five lakh karsevaks were mobilised in advance to congregate around the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, to participate in karseva, according to evidence provided to the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Enquiry.

And, this was not the first time they were allowed a free run of the place. On earlier occasions, too, whenever karseva was planned around the disputed structure, it seemed as if the “executive – political executive and the administration – were of the karsevaks, by the karsevaks and for the karsevaks,” whom Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan describes as a “class by themselves.”

And, the mobilisation was done as per Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s instructions. He asked his Ministers and Legislators to get at least 10 volunteers from each village in their constituencies. Similar efforts to mobilise karsevaks were made in other Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled States. And, they were provided with all facilities by the U.P. government.

They were given introductory letters from their native places and issued identity cards on arrival at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad office in Ayodhya, Justice Liberhan noted while drawing up the contours of the well-planned build-up to the demolition.

The karsevaks themselves were organised into four distinct groups. One lot were the ones seen most on television screens; “media savvy, conscious of public attention.” They were seen hammering at the domes, hoisting flags or dancing and demonstrating before television. The second group was tasked with the job of pulling down the structure in a pre-planned manner. Skilled workers, they knew how to bring the structure down by demolishing the walls under the domes.

A third group kept the police and the administration at bay by throwing “brickbats and missiles.” And, the last group kept emotions high by raising slogans and chanting bhajans.

Phenomenal secrecy

According to Justice Liberhan, the preparation for December 6 was accomplished with “phenomenal secrecy” but in another chapter he pondered why the local police – which hobnobbed with key players in the movement -- did not use this access to anticipate what was evident to everyone. “With complete insensitivity, what had been tried to be achieved for centuries, was achieved in a few hours.”