Business Today
PTI feed

Ayodhya on edge ahead of verdict, all educational institutions closed in UP till Monday, elaborate security across country

twitter-logoPTI | November 9, 2019 | Updated 01:02 IST

(Eds: Adds inputs from states) New Delhi/Ayodhya, Nov 8 (PTI) Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the country ahead of the Supreme Court judgement in the communally sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case on Saturday, while the temple town remained on the edge and political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and religious leaders urged people to maintain peace and respect the verdict. Authorities said social media posts will be monitored to ensure that no attempt is made to vitiate the atmosphere by spreading fake or inflammatory content. Arrangements have also been made to ensure the safety and security of religious places across the country. The Uttar Pradeh government ordered closure of all educational and training institutes till Monday after the Supreme Court website informed around 9 pm Friday that the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will pronounce the verdict in the decades-old case at 10.30 am on Saturday, a non-working day for courts. Late Friday night, Prime Minister Modi said the Ayodhya verdict will not be a matter of victory or loss for anyone. "I appeal to my countrymen that it should be our priority to strengthen our tradition of maintaining peace and harmony. In the run up to Ayodhya verdict, efforts have been made by various people and organisations to maintain harmony. We have to maintain amity even after the verdict," Modi said in his appeal. The demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site on December 6, 1992, had sparked communal riots. Friday morning, Chief Justice Gogoi held an hour-long meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh, who apprised him about the security arrangements made to maintain law and order in the state. A multi-layered security has been put in place in the temple town of Ayodhya, turning it into a fortress with deployment of 60 companies (90-125 personnel each) of PAC and paramilitary forces. Vehicle checking has been intensified near the Ramjanmabhoomi police station, "karyashala" of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and other parts of the town. Drones and CCTV cameras are also being used to monitor the situation. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reviewed law and order in each district and appealed for peace. Similar review meetings were held in other states following a general advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday. The Centre has sent around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Uttar Pradesh. The railway police has cancelled leaves of its personnel and stepped up vigil at 78 major stations. Delhi police beefed up security across the national capital and stepped up patrolling in sensitive areas, officials said, adding that social media platforms will also be monitored. Social media posts and WhatsApp messages that incite communal hatred or violence would attract severe punishment, including jail terms, the Noida administration said, adding action could also be taken under the Gangsters Act and the National Security Act. Uttar Pradesh police held flag march in sensitive areas of the state, including Noida. The Delhi government has advised all private schools to remain closed on November 9 as a precautionary measure. The Madhya Pradesh government has declared a holiday for all educational institutes in the state on Saturday. Police have been put on alert in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. In Mumbai, police have issued prohibitory orders against gathering of five or more persons till November 18. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directed senior police officers to ensure law and order in the state. He asked the officers to make additional deployment in sensitive areas. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been issued, banning assembly of more than four people, DGP J&K, Dilbag Singh told PTI. Schools and colleges in the UT have been ordered shut on Saturday and all examinations scheduled for November 9 have been postponed. The Karnataka government on Friday declared that all schools and colleges in the state will remain closed on November 9 in view of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi had asked his ministers and party leaders to refrain from making unnecessary statements on the sensitive Ayodhya issue, according to sources. Clerics and priests of various faiths also renewed their appeal to people to honour the Supreme Court verdict on the dispute and respect religious sentiments. "We should all respect the judgement. We should exercise restraint and not hurt religious sentiments of any community," the imam of the Lucknow Eidgah, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, told PTI. He said an all-religious meeting was organised recently at the Islamic Centre here to discuss several aspects before the judgement. "The Ayodhya case is the biggest and most-sensitive case of independent India. Hence, it is the responsibility of every citizen to honour the verdict and maintain peace," Mahali said. He urged all clerics to tell Muslims "not to feel afraid and repose their faith in the Constitution and the judiciary". All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas said, "Every person irrespective of any religion must honour and respect the judgement of the Supreme Court." Priest at the Dakshinmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Hazratganj, Sarvesh Shukla, said, "My only appeal to the people is to honour and respect the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case." Father Donald D'Souza, Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Lucknow, told PTI, "Ours is a functional democracy, and rule of law has to be followed by all. The court's judgement has to be fully respected by everyone without any bias. This is called 'sanskaar'." UP 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. "Stress has been laid on confidence-building measures," he said, adding that police officials have reached out to different sections of society dharma gurus, traders and academics. "The aim is to instil a feeling of security," he said. ADG (Prosecution) Ashutosh Pandey said security has been strengthened at the makeshift temple in Ayodhya. The entire town has been divided into 31 sectors and 35 sub-sectors, he said. Pandey said there was no ban on devotees coming to Ayodhya. Two helicopters would be on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya for immediate assistance, if needed. A cross-section of people in Ayodhya said they want to move on and leave the past behind. Shiv Sakal, who lives near Badhi Devkali bypass in Ayodhya, said, "I sincerely pray to Lord Ram that this dispute be resolved at earliest, so that the element of uncertainty is gone from our minds once and for all. "Many of my relatives who live in Bundelkhand are sceptical of coming to Ayodhya and say that they will come here only after the Supreme Court judgement is delivered," he said. The apex court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. PTI NAV SAB NIT ABH RT RT

  • Print
A    A   A