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Sensing trouble, the Uttar Pradesh police have detained at least 42 Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists a day before the VHP's 'Sankalp Sabha' scheduled on October 18 at Ayodhya.
Earlier, the saints, the VHP activists and affiliates had held a '84-kosi' and a 'Panch Kosi' yatras in August-September for the same purpose. The two events were banned by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state and many senior VHP leaders including Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia were arrested.
The Akhilesh Yadav government in the state has banned the event citing fears of trouble and communal flare-up. However, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal have said that they will go ahead with the event, as it was their "constitutional and democratic right". The police are planning to seal the Faizabad district boundaries in the state on Thursday noon, as the local intelligence unit (LIU) reports suggested chances of trouble during the October 18 event.
Intelligence reports have suggested that heavy deployment of security and para-military forces to prevent the Sankalp Diwas were not enough, as hundreds of VHP workers and sympathizers had already camped in various places in the temple city of Ayodhya.
"We have reports that the gathering could be much larger than what we are expecting. We are hence leaving nothing to chance," a senior official said. Faizsabad district magistrate Vipin Dwivedi said all precautions were being taken to ensure that normal life was not hit. The Sankalp Sabha has been called to press to demand construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.