|N E W S
I N ..D E T A I L
Sunday, December 6, 1998
Countrywide alert on Masjid demolition anniversary
NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (PTI) States today placed their security forces on the maximum alert and took measures to guard vital installations and places of worship in view of tomorrows protest call by various political parties and organisations against the demolition of the Babri Masjid the same day six years ago.
At least 63 preventive arrests were made in Kerala and 7,500 in Tamil Nadu. In Madurai city 396 persons were held.
Additional security arrangements have been made at airports, railway and bus stations. Extremists had last year on the occasion targeted trains by placing bombs, particularly in the South.
The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has decided to organise rallies all over the country tomorrow to demand rebuilding of the mosque in its original place.
The Samajwadi Party will observe the day as "kalank diwas", while activists of the Trinamool Congress, a BJP ally, will wear black badges.
In opposition to this the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal will observe the day as "shoaurya divas" by gathering in strength at Govardhan, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.
Tight security was thrown around the Ram Janambhumi-Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya and special vigil mounted at Krishna Janamsthali at Mathura and Kashi-Vishwanath Temple and the adjacent Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
As many as 120 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 12 companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in Uttar Pradesh to maintain peace. The RAF staged a "flag march" through the main streets of Mathura.
In Tamil Nadu, besides tightening security at airports and railway stations the police staged a flag march in 10 sensitive areas of Chennai city.
In Coimbatore, the scene of several blasts and communal clashes last year, unprecedented security measures were in force with some 4,000 security personnel put on the alert at strategic points in the city. In addition, some 4,500 securitymen are kept ready in rural parts of Coimbatore.
In Mumbai, Joint Commissioner of Police P.S. Pasricha said the Reserve Police, RAF and police in plainclothes were being deployed at strategic and sensitive areas in the metropolis and a special drive mounted against rumour-mongering.
In West Bengal, additional security was installed in various places and DIG R.K. Roy said in Calcutta that the security forces would maintain a close vigil in areas identified as sensitive.
In Kerala security at railway stations, bus stands and places of worship was tightened. In Karnataka, the police was directed to maintain strict vigil especially in the border districts of Bidar, Gulbarga and Raichur to prevent communal elements sneaking in from neighbouring states.
The Police Commissioner in Bangalore, held peace meetings with representatives of several Muslim organisations for ensuring peace tomorrow.
Security checks were conducted inside the high security central prison in Coimbatore where a large number of prisoners, including the accused in the February 14 serial blasts, are lodged.
The All-India Babri Masjid re-building committee today asked the Centre to refer all disputes and cases regarding the Ayodhya shrine to the Supreme Court, saying the verdict of the apex court would be acceptable to the entire Muslim community.
"The Muslim community has full faith and confidence in the judiciary, democracy, law, Parliament and the Constitution," committee president Mohammad Younus Siddiqui said in a statement. He said the cases must be referred to the court under Article 138(B) for a time-bound decision.
The committee, which is organising an "Ayodhya march" to offer namaz at the disputed site on the anniversary of the demolition tomorrow, demanded resignation of Home Minister L K Advani, Human Resources Development Minister M M Joshi and other ministers chargesheeted in the case of demolition of the masjid in December 1992.
Govt committed to secularism: PM
NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (PTI) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the Ayodhya dispute could be resolved satisfactorily through negotiations conducted in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding.
"I believe that there is no issue or dispute which cannot be resolved satisfactorily through negotiations conducted in an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. This holds true for the Ayodhya issue, too," he said in a statement on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya.
"Tomorrow is December 6. It is a day of introspection, reconciliation and rededicating ourselves to the ideals of communal harmony and national unity," he said, asserting "my government is unreservedly committed to defence of secularism, which is the bedrock of our national identity and unity".
Maintaining that it was
essential to preserve the sanctity of places of worship
of all faiths, the Prime Minister said. "India is a
land of many faiths, all of which enjoy respect not only
in the constitution but in our millennia-old national
culture. This is a unique and proud distinction which
India enjoys in the comity of nations which must be
preserved at all costs and in all circumstances".?
NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (PTI) The Bajrang Dal has warned of a possibility of a repeat of the Ayodhya episode at the controversial sites of Kashi and Mathura if the government tries to "deceive" Hindus.
"The Hindu community was deceived in the case of Ayodhya and if the government tries to do the same in the case of Mathura and Kashi, the two controversial sites will also meet the same fate as that of Ayodhya", Bajrang Dal converner Surendra Jain said in "Janata ki Adalat" on Star TV.
Describing it as "unfortunate" that the patience and tolerance of Hindus was taken as 'weakness", he asserted: "We will not tolerate any more attack on our sentiments, on our religious scriptures and on our religious places".
On the Vande Mataram controversy, Mr Jain said "we believe anybody living in India will have to sing Vande Mataram".
The Bajrang Dal leader also justified the attack on painter M.F. Hussain's works on Saraswati, Durga and Sita. "If this had happened in any Muslim or Christian country or if there were such paintings of Jesus or Mother Mery, how would have their societies reacted", he asked.
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