Rae Bareli: An IPS officer, who said L.K. Advani had made a provocative speech in Ayodhya moments before the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 on Saturday told a CBI court that she was twice sent away from the dais by BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, a move seen to keep her away from the hub of action.

Anju Gupta, who was the personal security officer of Mr. Advani, was replying to questions by defence counsel during the hearing of the Babri Masjid demolition case.

To counsel H.D. Sharma's question how long she stayed at Ramkatha Kunj manch (dais) after reaching there for the first time, the IPS officer said she was there only for a few minutes. “Within a few minutes of reaching the dais Vinay Katiyar asked me to go to the police control room and get the direction of Mr. Advani's convoy, which was parked, changed,” she said.

Ms. Gupta said when she returned to the dais, Mr. Katiyar asked her to bring Mr. Advani's car to Ramkatha kunj as the leader would face difficulty in reaching the control room as the crowd was huge.

At this point, Mr. Sharma asked her to clarify whether after reaching the dais she heard leaders announcing how and where the symbolic ‘kar seva' was to be performed. When asked by Mr. Sharma whether ‘bhajan' and ‘kirtan' was being performed at the dais when she reached there, Ms. Gupta said, “When I reached there, speeches were being given and in between slogans raised.”

“The crowd present there was swelling in numbers and it was responsive towards programmes being coordinated from the dais. The crowd was also cheering the leaders,” she said.

Ms. Gupta said when she reached the control room to get the convoy's direction changed, she could hear speeches being made.

In reply to a question, the officer told the court that Mr. Advani alighted from his car near the control room and walked to Ramkatha kunj.

Ms. Gupta said when she reached the Ram Janmabhoomi complex at 10.15 a.m., thousands of people were already there. Defence counsel asked Ms. Gupta whether, during her to and fro movement between Ramkatha kunj and the control room, she saw people performing symbolic ‘kar seva'. “I saw some seers performing religious rituals,” she said.

Ms. Gupta said that in none of the orders given to her by the district administration the word symbolic ‘kar seva' was mentioned. — PTI