BJP asks EC to block broadcast of Babri Masjid 'sting'

The Bharatiya Janata Party has reacted strongly today to a Cobrapost 'sting' operation purportedly showing the involvement of the BJP's top leadership in the violent demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992.

"This is a political conspiracy by the Congress party. The timing of the allegations is questionable and this is a conspiracy against us," BJP leader Vinay Katiyar said.

The party has approached the Election Commission seeking an injunction against broadcasting of the Cobrapost footage.

The Cobrapost sting seemed to show that top BJP leaders, including L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were in the know of the demolition plan, that it was deliberately planned and executed, and that the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh was informed well in advance about it.

BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said reports that had appeared in papers today about a ''sting operation related to the sensitive Babri masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute'' were ''sponsored'' in an attempt to ''inject poison in the peaceful and amicable election atmosphere in the country''.

Naqui told newspersons in New Delhi, "We had in the morning spoken to Election Commission and also written a letter that an NGO named Cobrapost in the name of a sting operation is planning to show a sponsored sting on the sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid issue ... its telecast and publication should be immediately barred."

The Congress sought action against those involved. "The entire world knows that this was a planned attempt by the BJP and the VHP. Strong action should be taken against those who were involved in this plan. This sting shows that they are neither friends of Hindus nor friends of Muslims," party leader Rashid Alvi said.