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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

VHP leaders' threat turns UP into a tinderbox for 19 days

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, August 25, 2013
First Published: 20:00 IST(25/8/2013) | Last Updated: 20:23 IST(25/8/2013)

The next 19 days will be a touch-and-go affair in Uttar Pradesh with the state government requisitioning additional forces from the Centre and the VHP leaders putting their foot down on carrying out 84-kosi yatra against ban orders.

The situation may remain tense till September 13, the day yatra is scheduled to conclude, sources say.  

Secretary (Home) Kamal Saxena said the state government had asked for additional 30 companies of paramilitary forces (CPMF) from the central government to enforce the ban orders successfully.

The state government has put in place a three-tier security arrangement to check VHP volunteers from sneaking into Ayodhya.

In the first security ring, the UP borders with the neigbouring states have been sealed. Barriers have been erected on the highways to check vehicles entering into the state. In the second ring, the border of the six districts- Faizabad, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich, Basti and Ambedkar Nagar has been sealed. The third security ring has been erected around Ayodhya.

According to reports, in all 600 villages are located along the yatra route and the VHP has deputed its volunteers to give the slip to the administration.

IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma said, "We are collecting information about the VHP leaders and activists' movement through the local intelligence units."

He said the district magistrates and the superintendents of police of all the districts have been alerted. They have been directed to take preventive measures to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, the state government has moved an application in the court for 14 days judicial remand of Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia Ramvilas Vedanti and others.

"The VHP leaders have been put in guesthouses, but they would be shifted to jail soon," Saxena said and added that arrangements would not obstruct the normal flow of pilgrims to Ayodhya.

However, hundreds of tourists and pilgrims had a harrowing time on Sunday as they were forced to stand on the side of the road for checks. The people were seen pleading with the security personnel at the barriers on Lucknow -- Gorakhpur highway. Those who showed their identity cards, prescriptions of the doctors and other documents to convince the cops that they were not members of the VHP or going to Ayodhya, were allowed to move ahead.


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