The Centre on Thursday asked all States to remain alert ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute and ensure security in sensitive areas. Union Home Ministry’s advisory issued on this regard has asked all States to keep vigil at sensitive areas. The Ministry has also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya and will soon dispatch more forces, said officials. Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has stopped stone carving work for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya here for the first time since 1990. All the artisans involved in the work have returned to their homes.
The politically sensitive judgment is expected to be delivered on any day from November 13 to November 15, which is the last working day of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who led the five-member bench which heard the arguments in the Ayodhya case.
The general advisory asked the States and Union Territories to deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country, a home ministry official said.
The Railway Police also issued a seven-page advisory to all its zones giving them a slew of directions on security preparedness ahead the much-awaited sensitive verdict. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) advisory also said that leaves of all its personnel have been cancelled and they will be engaged in escorting trains, they said. The advisory, which covers aspects like security at platforms, railway stations, yards, parking space, bridges and tunnels besides production units and workshops, has earmarked all potential hotspots which could either be a site for any violence or could be used to hide explosives, the sources said.
RPF personnel will escort all trains and they will be armed with modern gadgets and intensive checks will be done including sniffer dogs, they said, adding all sensitive points on tracks, bridges and tunnels will be patrolled. The RPF advisory also said that a close watch should be kept on all religious structures near railway stations or within its premises as they may become a “flashpoints” in case tempers run high. It has also instructed caretakers of such structures not to leave them unguarded.
The Temple town Ayodhya is expected to see a heavy rush of pilgrims next week over Karthik Purnima as the local administration gears up to ensure calm. “No, devotees will continue to come to Ayodhya to offer prayers at temples,” District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha told PTI when asked whether devotees would be gradually evacuated ahead of the verdict.
Lakhs of devotees are expected to gather in the city on November 12 for Karthik Purnima Snan. “Devotees who come to Ayodhya for Purnima Snan stay back for some days in the temple town, so there must be heavy presence of pilgrims in Ayodhya till November 20,” said Mahant Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastri, priest of Saryu Kunj Sita Ram temple here.
The District administration has instructed LED van operators to continuously broadcast Ramayana and Mahabharat television serials for devotees in Ayodhya , informed Murli Dhar Singh, Deputy Director Information.
In anticipation of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has stopped stone carving work for the construction of a Ram Temple here for the first time since 1990. All the artisans involved in the work have returned to their homes, said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma.
He said the decision to stop the carving has been taken by top leaders of the VHP that has been at the forefront of the movement demanding the construction of a ‘grand temple’ dedicated to Lord Ram at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid. “We have stopped the carving of stones and the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas will decide when the carving will be restarted,” Sharma said.
“All our proposed programmes regarding different activities of our outfits have been cancelled keeping in view the upcoming Ayodhya verdict,” he said. The carving of stones for the construction of a Ram Temple was started by the VHP at the Ram Mandir Nirmaan Karyashala here in 1990 when Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party was Uttar Pradesh chief minister. The carving work by artisans had been carried out uninterrupted since then.
According to the VHP, 1.25 lakh cubic foot of stone has already been carved. The organization claims that stonework sufficient for the first floor of the proposed temple is ready and that 1.75 lakh cubic footstone for the rest of the structure is still to be carved. Ahead of the judgement on the contentious issue, the VHP has also appealed to its cadres to remain calm and restrain from creating an atmosphere of celebratory frenzy.
In a letter to its workers, VHP central vice-president Champat Rai said, “This (the verdict) should not be a matter of Hindus and Muslims. It is about accepting the truth. So, do not create a celebratory frenzy in society and nobody should be taunted.” He noted that arguments of lawyers in the case and observations of judges indicate that “the verdict will be in the favour of truth” and that society will rejoice over the judgment.
VHP spokesperson Sharma said, “Whether the verdict is in favour of Hindus or Muslims, it is time that both communities present great examples of harmony and brotherhood. We all have to take care that no incident which mixes venom in the cordial relations of Hindus and Muslims should take place.”
The organisation’s decision to stop stone carving for the proposed temple has not gone down well with some.
“When the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 and the RSS, VHP and all such organisations were banned for six months, even then the carving of stones was continued,” said Yugal Kishore Sharan Shastry, ‘mahant’ of the Saryu Kunj Sita-Ram Temple here.
“Even during Akhilesh Yadav’s regime in the state, stones from Rajasthan and Gujarat were regularly brought in,” he added, describing as “shocking” the decision to stop the carving work. Strict security measures have been put in place in Ayodhya and other parts of the state and country to ensure that law and order is maintained following the announcement of the judgement.
The local administration has imposed a ban on any event marking a “victory” or “mourning” over the judgment. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been clamped in Ayodhya till December 28.
Four security zones have been created in Faizabad district that will be manned by the Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) and the civil police.
In a series of restrictions, District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha has ordered against the use of social media to “insult” deities or to install idols and hold processions related to Ram Janmabhoomi.
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