Uttar Pradesh mounts vigil ahead of Ayodhya verdict


Lucknow: After the central government deputed around 3,500 paramilitary personnel against the 63,000 sought by Uttar Pradesh to boost security ahead of Sep 24 verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, the state government is doing its bit to mount vigil in 44 trouble-prone districts, an official said Sunday.

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The government has pooled all its resources to put in place an unprecedented security net around all sensitive places across the sprawling state, including capital Lucknow where a flag march was staged by security personnel Sunday evening, the official said.

This follows repeated high-level meetings both at the level of Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh as well as Principal Home secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur.

State police chief Karamveer Singh and his deputy Brij Lal have assessed the situation in Ayodhya as well as a number of other sensitive places across the state.

Unfazed by the unavailability of the central forces in accordance with the state’s requirements, the state has managed to put its security plans in place.

“As against our requirement, the central government has sent just about 3,500 personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Sep 16,” Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal told IANS.

After identifying 19 of the state’s 71 districts as “hyper-sensitive” and 25 as “sensitive”, the available force has been spread out in these areas. The state administration has already imposed restrictions on the assembly of five or more people in these areas.

“Processions have been banned not only in and around Ayodhya and Faizabad, but also in each of the 44 hyper-sensitive and sensitive districts,” he said.

A special contingent of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) undertook its first flag march in Ayodhya Saturday.

“Foolproof arrangements have to be in place to keep an effective check on any adverse fallout of the court verdict,” Lal said.

“All available resources were being utilised and assistance of common citizens was also being taken to maintain peace and harmony…we are ready to face any law and order problem,” Lal said.

“By the time the CRPF arrived, we had already planned deployment of 150 companies of the state provincial armed constabulary (PAC),” he said.

“That excludes the CRPF and other paramilitary forces deployed permanently inside the precincts of the disputed Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya,” he said.

The remaining deployments included 82,000 police constables, 80,000 home guards and 20,000 personnel of the Pradeshik Raksha Dal (PRD).

“Public address systems linked with wireless are being installed at 700 police stations in the state, which will help police to connect directly with the public,” Lal said.

Besides the police deployment, the public is also being involved in maintaining peace and communal harmony.

“Government employees including lekhpals, teachers, village development officers and health department staff have been roped in to interact and coordinate with people in villages,” he said, adding that an extensive communication plan has also been chalked out.