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Akhilesh govt foils VHPs Ayodhya rally
BJP MP among 1,600 arrested

Ayodhya, October 18
A massive crackdown by the Uttar Pradesh Government in which about 1,600 persons were arrested, including BJP MP Yogi Adityanath foiled VHP's planned rally in Ayodhya today in support of constructing a temple at the disputed site.

The congregation for 'Sankalp Diwas' was already banned by the Akhilesh Yadav government but VHP activists hiding in various temples made a vain attempt at around 11 am to march towards the banks of the Saryu river. The activists were, however, arrested before they set out from the temples.

"Around 1,600 persons, including BJP and VHP leaders and workers, were arrested across the state as a preventive measure," said IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma. "The day was totally peaceful," he said. The borders of twin towns of Ayodhya and Faizabad were sealed since Thursday as a precautionary measure but it was reopened for traffic in the evening, he added.

BJP MP Yogi Adityanath and 24 others accompanying him to the VHP rally in Ayodhya, were arrested ahead of the rally at the railway station in Gonda as a preventive measure, the police said. The rally has been banned for violating the prohibitory orders, ADM Anjani Kumar Singh said in Gonda.

BJP MLA Ram Chandra Yadav and former party minister Lallu Singh, VHP leaders Champat Rai, Ram Vilas Vedanti and Sharad Sharma were also among the arrested people.

Security forces were instructed to extend cooperation for regular devotees who were coming to Ayodhya for 'Sharad Purnima' bath at Saryu river.

An estimated 10,000 people took bath in Saryu river on the occasion, officials said. PTI

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