Wednesday, October 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Tension mounts in Ayodhya
Security up; HC justifies UP Govt’s action

Ayodhya, October 14
Notwithstanding the assurance of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Sriramjanambhoomi Nyas that there will be no breach of the peace at their October 17 programme to press for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site, tension has mounted in this holy city.

Security personnel have surrounded the disputed site and have deployed a massive security cover barring entry to the area.

Sources here have said the security personnel have been directed to make minimum use of force.

After the VHP’s proposed meetings in Lucknow and Delhi tomorrow, the organisation is slated to hold a ‘Ram darshan’ programme at Ramsevakpuram here on October 17.

The VHP’s headquarters at Karsevakpuram is lying deserted amidst strict security deployment there.

Lucknow zone Inspector-General of Police, V.N. Rai has been camping in the area while Faizabad District Magistrate, Rajiv Kumar has ordered the closure of all educational institutions here till October 17.

Despite the security cover, VHP leaders have made claims that about 3,000 ‘Ram bhakts’ have been accommodated in various temples.

The VHP has banned the entry of all people, including mediapersons to Karsevakpuram.

Till now, the VHP has not sought any written permission for holding the ‘Ram darshan’ programme at Ayodhya.

Orders under Section 144 of the IPC, enforcing a ban on gatherings, has been in force here since October 10 in view of the programme.

Amid elaborate security arrangements, pandals are being put up and a wide stage is being built at Ramsevakpuram.

Reports have said more than 2,000 persons including 1,300 women, have been arrested in Varanasi while hundreds of others have been detained in other districts in the state.

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court justified the Uttar Pradesh Government’s action to prevent VHP activists from reaching Ayodhya for the October 17 rally, saying the state had an obligation to maintain public order.

The state could not allow any organisation to destabilise public order and to achieve this end, the state could prevent and, if need be, detain any person if his movement was suspected to further the cause of any organisation, observed a Division Bench of the court.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice S.K. Agarwal and Mr Justice K.N. Sinha, while making the observations on a writ petition filed by Mr Manoj Sahu, asked the administration to provide food, water and decent place to stay for those who had been arrested on their way to Ayodhya for the VHP-sponsored rally.

The petitioner, claimed that he and several others were arrested at Allahabad junction two days ago and were denied basic facilities like food, water and proper shelter, which was violative of the fundamental rights of the detainees.

Meanwhile, a writ petition was filed in the Lucknow Bench of the high court, seeking a directive to the state government to release 33 persons detained while on their way to Ayodhya. — UNI, PTI



PM reviews Ayodhya situation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14
In the wake of growing tension in Ayodhya ahead of the VHP’s October 17 “Ram lalla darshan” programme, the Centre has decided that Minister of State for Home Swami Chinmayananda will coordinate with the VHP to ensure that the programme passes off peacefully.

A decision to this effect was taken after a meeting held by the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and top leaders of the BJP.

The Centre has also decided not to divert or stop trains touching Ayodhya as it would inconvenience people, especially in the festive season, sources said.

The meeting, was also attended by BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Meanwhile, the BJP today adopted a soft approach towards the VHP’s programme and expressed faith that the programme would pass off peacefully.


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