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Elaborate arrangements for Kartik Purnima holy dip in Ayodhya; security forces intensify vigil

twitter-logoPTI | November 11, 2019 | Updated 18:27 IST

By Kunal Dutt Ayodhya, Nov 11 (PTI) With lakhs of devotees expected to take a holy dip in the Saryu river on Kartik Purnima on Tuesday, the district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the festive occasion, even as security forces kept a hawk-eye vigil in the town two days after the historic verdict in the Ayodhya case. Settling a fractious issue that goes back more than a century, the Supreme Court in a historic verdict on Saturday backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town. This being the first Kartik Purnima since the landmark judgement, local authorities have made all arrangements amid a high security alert in the city. The nearly 4-km stretch from the symbolic Ayodhya Dwar bordering Faizabad town to the main Ayodhya city still remains under tight watch with no public transport being allowed to go beyond that from the Faizabad side. Even for private vehicles, hardly any four-wheelers could be seen beyond the gate while two-wheeler riders were allowed to go towards Ayodhya side only after proper checking of identity cards. "This arrangement has been in place since Friday night, the day the verdict timing was announced. It is likely to remain for another week or so to ensure foolproof security. Also in view of Kartik Purnima security forces are on extra vigil," a police officer on duty said. For the devotees, arrangements have been made at the river banks, the main ghats being Ram Ki Paidi, Naya Ghat and Guptar Ghat, where water level is sufficient, Deputy Director, Information, Ayodhya Division, Murlidhar Singh said. "The auspicious period for the holy dip will begin at 5:34 pm today and go on till 6:42 pm on Tuesday. We are expecting lakhs of people to converge on this occasion. Adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure nothing untoward happens as it is a sensitive time post the judgement," he told PTI. On arrangements, he said the ghats have been divided into four zones and within each zone about 20 sectors, thus a total of 80 sectors. "About 13 mobile toilets, besides other sanitation facilities and 18 ambulances have been installed, buildings on ghats have been illuminated to add to the festive spirit," Singh said. The senior official said, besides police force on high alert in the city, units of paramilitary forces, home guards have also been deployed. "We have marked danger zones and 200 divers would also be on standby to avert any mishap," he said. Asked about the festival falling within two days of the verdict in the Ayodhya case, Singh said the ghats are about 3 km away from the Ram Janmabhoomi and so the situation here would be relatively lighter and security a little relaxed, he said. "After the holy dip tomorrow evening every security arrangement will be further tightened on the ghats too," he added. PTI KND KJ

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