Uttar Pradesh will remain on the tenterhooks for the next 19 days as the faceoff between the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the state government is likely to continue till September 13, the day the banned chaurasi kosi yatra is scheduled to end.
With VHP leaders adamant on continuing the yatra, the state government on Sunday made it clear that security arrangements to enforce the ban would continue till VHP called off the yatra.
Secretary, Home, Kamal Saxena said the state government had urged the central government to send an additional 30 companies of central paramilitary forces (CPMF) to reinforce the security.
The government has put in place three-tier security arrangements to check the VHP volunteers from reaching Ayodhya.
First, Uttar Pradesh’s border with its neighbouring states have been sealed. Second, the borders of the six districts— Faizabad, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich, Basti and Ambedkar Nagar — through which the yatra is supposed to have passed has been sealed. Third, a security ring has been thrown around Ayodhya.
Police personnel have been deployed on the yatra route along which 600 villages are located amid reports that the VHP has deputed its volunteers to give the administration the slip.
Meanwhile, the state government has moved applications in court for 14 days’ judicial remand of Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia, Ramvilas Vedanti and others. “Though the VHP leaders have been put in guesthouses now, they would be shifted to jails soon,” Saxena said. When told that police could harass the common people visiting UP, Saxena replied district magistrates and police officers had been directed not to stop common people and pilgrims.
Neverthleess, a large number trucks and vehicles moving on highways remained stranded as security personnel did not permit them to move ahead.