Tens of thousands of security personnel were posted across India
ahead of the Ayodhya verdict Thursday afternoon. From Kashmir to
Kerala, many states were on "extra vigil" fearing trouble in the
aftermath of the judgement.
"We are monitoring the situation minute-by-minute," an official in
the home ministry told IANS. "So far satisfactory. We hope the
situation will remain peaceful after the judgment too."
A three-member bench of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High
Court will deliver the much-awaited verdict in the
Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits, contested by Hindu and
Muslim groups, at 3.30 p.m. Thursday.
The official said Uttar Pradesh will be the focus of security
Tight measures are in force in Ayodhya, the location of the
dispute, and in Lucknow, where the court verdict is delivered.
Unprecedented security measures are in place inside and outside
Delhi is under a security blanket too, for the Commonwealth Games
beginning Sunday as well as Thursday's verdict. A large number of
police and paramilitary forces have taken up position on the
roads, markets and public places.
The temple towns of Varanasi and Mathura, communally-sensitive
centres like Meerut, Aligarh, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Kanpur,
Allahabad, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur and other places in Uttar Pradesh
have been placed under tight security, police sources said.
In all, 190,000 police and security personnel will be deployed in
Uttar Pradesh. Of these, 20,000 will be central forces including
the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Rapid Action Force
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka
and Kerala are some of the states for which New Delhi has
instructed "extra vigil" as it believes the judgment can evoke
sharp reactions there.
A special alert has been sounded for cities with a history of
communal flare-up. They include Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara,
Bhiwandi, Bhopal, Jammu, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore and
Kozhikode, officials said.
In an appeal publicised through media, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh Wednesday said: "It is necessary for all sections of the
people of India to maintain equanimity and tranquillity in the
aftermath of the judgment.
"There should be no attempt whatsoever made by any section of the
people to provoke any other section or to indulge in any
expression of emotion that would hurt the feelings of other
people," he said.
The six-decade-old title suit is regarding the site in Ayodhya
which Hindu groups claim is the birthplace of Lord Ram. Radical
Hindu activists razed the Babri Masjid there Dec 6, 1992,
triggering widespread communal riots in which 2,000 people were
killed across India.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Wednesday the government had
"taken adequate security measures and deployed adequate security
personnel to assist the state governments to maintain peace".