Sunday, October 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

2,000 Shiv sainiks held in Ayodhya

Ayodhya, October 11
Foiling the Shiv Sena attempt to hold a ‘Ram bhakt sammelan’ here today defying a ban, the police arrested about 2,000 party activists, including two state unit vice-presidents, near the venue of the proposed meet and other places in the temple town.

Party’s state unit vice-presidents Babu Mishra and Mahesh Ahuja were arrested along with 500 party workers near Naya Ghat, close to Ram Katha Park, the venue of the proposed meeting, when they tried to breach the heavy security cordon this morning, circle officer S. S. Baghel told PTI.

Some arrests were made at railway station and bus stands from where the party workers tried to head for the meeting in small groups, the police official said.

Sena activists had started arriving here since last evening and many of them had spent the night in various temples, he said. The party activists were sent to the district jail.

Meanwhile, Mr Mishra and Mr Ahuja claimed they had “succeeded in holding the meeting despite the ban”. They told reporters that the future strategy would be formulated at a meeting later.

Yesterday, party MPs Chandrakant Khaire and Shivaji Rao Mane were arrested along with 100 party activists at Ram Sanehi Ghat, 90 km from Lucknow, while going to Faizabad for the meeting.

Tight security arrangements were in place with Ram Katha Park sealed and Rapid Action Force deployed in strength to foil any attempt to hold the meet.

Prohibitory orders are in force in the district till October 31 in view of the VHP’s proposed Ayodhya March on October 17

The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements in and around Faizabad and Ayodhya to prevent Sena activisits from reaching here.

Raids were conducted at different temples, besides intensive search operations in Faizabad and Ayodhya-bound trains and buses, official sources said.

Some Shiv Sena activists were arrested yesterday at Barabanki and the neighbouring Hamirpur, they said. However, public transport was banned at Terhi Bazar, a predominantly Muslim locality, as a precautionary measure, they said. — PTI 

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