Thursday, November 21, 2019

Posted at: Nov 8, 2019, 10:07 PM; last updated: Nov 8, 2019, 10:29 PM (IST)

Uttar Pradesh prepares for Ayodhya verdict; schools shut till Nov 11

Uttar Pradesh prepares for Ayodhya verdict; schools shut till Nov 11
Police conduct checking near the site of disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya on Friday. PTI photo

Tribune News Service
Lucknow, November 8

Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to keep all schools, colleges, educational institutions and training centres across the state closed from November 9-11, as the state prepares to face any potential fallout of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute.

The Supreme Court has listed the case for Saturday.

“The state is fully prepared and internet connection may be snapped if needed,” DGP OP Singh said.

Appeals for calm have already gone out for peace from the parties involved in the dispute. The state government has heightened security before the verdict,

Multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place in the temple town of Ayodhya with drones being used to monitor the situation ahead of the apex court judgment in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

Elaborating on the security arrangements, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) PV Ramasastry said: "Adequate forces have been provided to Ayodhya and all sensitive districts of the state in good measure. The force has been sufficiently strengthened in terms of CAPF and PAC companies."  

 He said not only their number had been increased but the efficiency of the deployed forces was also being improved for the past two months by giving them better equipment and training.

Apart from this, senior officers were also involved in planning, he said. When asked whether drone cameras will be used for monitoring purposes, Ramasastry said, "Drone cameras are being used in the preparatory phase so that the deployment of the forces can be planned correctly".  He said drone cameras would also be used to closely monitor vulnerable spots and rooftops to prevent the accumulation of stones. "For the past a couple of months, efforts have been made to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the security personnel," he said.

Speaking on security arrangements, ADG (Prosecution) Ashutosh Pandey said: "Sixty companies of the PAC and paramilitary forces have been deployed. As many as 10 drone cameras and CCTVs at 30 crossings have been installed".                

Pandey said barricading had been strengthened at the place of the makeshift temple.

The entire town had been divided into 31 sectors and 35 sub-sectors, he said, adding that in case there was a surge of visitors, a "holding area" had been carved on the outskirts of the town so that people could be sent in batches for the darshan of Lord Ram.

Pandey said there was no ban on devotees coming to Ayodhya.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had earlier said two helicopters would be on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya as part of the security arrangements. Adityanath conveyed this during a late night videoconference with the state's top civil and police officials. He also called a high-level meeting for officials, including DGP, chief secretary and principal secretaries of all education departments.

The Uttar Pradesh Police also sent out an alert notice to prisons across the country ahead of the verdict. The notice, signed by DGP & IG Prisons UP Anand Kumar said, said: “All jail officers/ staff to be alerted and be in constant touch with the concerned district administration for any support/ needful action required”.

“Keep a vigilant eye on the reaction of the inmates and ensure that there is no communal strife / violence in Jails. Strict vigil should be maintained immediately and stern action be ensured against such elements lodged in jails who attempt to spread communal disharmony.

In Delhi, all deputy commissioners of police and station house officers have been directed to raise police visibility and patrolling in communally sensitive areas.

According to an advisory released by Delhi Police, sufficient forces are being mobilised and the department will also requisition extra Central Armed Police Forces companies from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Necessary arrangements will be made to ensure safety and security of religious places, the advisory said. 

Social media platforms will also be monitored, the police said.

It advised users to post with discretion and restrain from spreading any unverified content.

Delhi Police will also initiate strict legal action against anybody indulging in any activity that may adversely affect the peace and tranquility, a senior police officer said.   

A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had reserved the judgement on October 16 after marathon hearing of 40 days. With PTI


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