Security has been tightened and elaborate arrangements have been made in Dhar to monitor the situation in and around Bhojshala on the occasion of Vasant Panchami on Friday.
Bhojshala is a disputed 11th century structure that Hindus claim as a Saraswati temple and Muslims call a mosque. The administration and a hard-line Hindu group are locked in a dispute over conducting day-long rituals at the local shrine on Friday.
Drone cameras will be used to keep a tab on every activity in Bhojshala, while the Madhya Pradesh police have deployed more than 7,000 police personnel in Dhar to control any untoward incidents or violent activities in the city.
The Madhya Pradesh police have also deployed Special Action Force commandos and private guards in and around the shrine.
The whole city has been divided into sectors for police and administration.
According to police sources, there are seven administrative sectors and 29 police sectors. Each sector will be headed by senior police official and administrative officers.
Two Deputy Inspector General’s (DIGs), a dozen IPS officers and two dozens of administrative officers will be camping in the city to control any situation at Bhojshala.
Around 11 companies of Madhya Pradesh police will be deployed inside the building while more than 1,000 police personnel will be deployed outside to prevent any forces from entering on Vasant Panchami.
The command of all the police and administrative officers is in the hands of Indore commissioner Sanjay Dubey and additional director general of police (ADG) Vipin Maheswari.
Sector 1 of Dhar is the most important part for security arrangements as it consists of Bhojshala Smarak. It will be headed by deputy collector (Indore) Sandeep Soni, Neemisha Pandey and Srikant Sarolakar. The police team will be headed by Khandwa (SP) Mahendra Sikarwar.
Dhar district boundaries have been sealed and police personnel have been deployed there to prevent any forced entry.
Narottam Mishra meets Hindu hardliners
In-charge minister Narottam Mishra and other senior officials discussed the situation on Friday. The minister reviewed the security of the district and passed on necessary instructions.
Mishra also met some Hindu hardliners.
“We will solve the problem on Thursday and everything will be fine on Vasant Panchami,” Mishra said.
According to sources present in the meeting, the Hindu hardliners have decided not to allow namaz inside the Bhojshala on Vasant Panchami at any cost.