Ayodhya may once again become the seat of confrontation between the state government and saffron outfits after the government decided to enforce a ban on the VHP-sponsored 84-kosi Parikrama in Ayodhya and the seers pledged to defy it.
The Parikrama is scheduled from August 25 to September 13 to drum up support for the construction of the Ram Temple.
The BJP leaders in Lucknow have condemned the ban and supported the cause of the yatra.
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Lakshmi Kant Vajpayee said, “The government should reconsider the decision and withdraw its confrontationist approach against the peace loving saints.”
“The yatra will go on regardless the government's decision. Minister Azam Khan is the main villain,” former minister of state for home Swami Chinmayanand said in Ayodhya, adding the saints would visit the pre-decided 40 spots across Faizabad, Gonda, Basti, Ambedkarnagar, Bahraich and Barabanki.
He said if the saffron cadres were stopped, they would court arrest after holding press conferences and demonstrations at the spot.
The state government has decided to send more forces into Ayodhya, ban seers’ entry to the places on the route of the Parikrama and seal Ayodhya's borders with six key districts -- Faizabad, Bahraich, Gonda, Ambedkarnagar, Basti and Barabanki.
IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma and special secretary (home) Arun Kumar Mishra said adequate security measures have been taken to enforce the ban.
Vishwakarma said the sadhus coming from outside the state or other districts will not be allowed to enter the prohibited zone.
More forces, including the Rapid Action Force (RAF), will be deployed in the six border districts, he said.
Justifying the ban on the Parikrama, Mishra said the organisers intimated the government late about their programme and did not seek permission for the it.