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Ayodhya turns into fortress ahead of Uddhav Thackeray’s visit, VHP’s Dharam Sabha

The Uttar Pradesh Police has sounded a statewide alert amid apprehension of trouble during the Dharam Sabha being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ayodhya on Sunday. Over one lakh people are expected to attend the rally.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2018 09:40 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks boarded the special train leaving to Ayodhya from Thane station to join Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on his journey to the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya ,India, on Thursday, November 22, 2018.
Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks boarded the special train leaving to Ayodhya from Thane station to join Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on his journey to the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya ,India, on Thursday, November 22, 2018. (Praful Gangurde/ Hindustan Times)
         

Ayodhya turned into a virtual fortress on Friday ahead of VHP’s Dharam Sabha with the state police beefing up security of the temple town, particularly at the disputed site, but allowed the devotees to have ‘darshan’ at the makeshift temple in small batches.

Faizabad district administration has imposed prohibitory orders (Section 144) in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Majid premises, a senior officer said.

Notably, thousands of Kar Sevaks had uprooted barricades and razed the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The Uttar Pradesh Police has sounded a statewide alert amid apprehension of trouble during the Dharam Sabha being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ayodhya on Sunday. Over one lakh people are expected to attend the rally.

A day before its first ever show of strength in Ayodhya, Shiv Sena claimed that more than 400 members of Parliament cutting across party lines will support ordinance for the construction of Ram temple.

“The Babri mosque was demolished in 17 minutes...How long does it take to prepare papers... to bring ordinance... from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to Uttar Pradesh assembly...They are all BJP governments,” PTI quoted Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut as saying.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav demanded that the Supreme Court should take note of the prevailing situation in Ayodhya and consider deploying Army to maintain peace and ensure security of the people.

Apprehending a repeat of 1992 in Ayodhya, convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee Zafaryab Jilani on Friday reposed faith in the state’s administrative machinery to ensure compliance of court’s order on the disputed site saying the state’s political leadership could not be trusted.

A large contingent of police force, including the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), has been deployed in the temple town along with 70 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and 4,000 personnel of civil police to maintain law and order.

“The police force deployed in Ayodhya has been directed to remain on high alert. The entire district has been divided into eight zones and 16 sectors to strengthen security,” a senior officer said.

Amid reports that members of the minority community had started shifting to nearby towns and villages fearing violence, the district administration has deployed additional force in Muslim-dominated areas.

Iqbal Ansari, a party to the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case in Supreme Court, said: “The district administration should ensure the safety of Muslims in view of the programmes organised by VHP and Shiv Sena.”

ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar said the state government had prepared a security scheme for Ayodhya and police force has been deployed accordingly. The ADG said the Supreme Court order for the acquired area would be implemented and devotees would be allowed in batches for ‘darshan’ at makeshift temple.

First Published: Nov 23, 2018 23:45 IST

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