Countdown Begins! Home Ministry Asks States To Remain Alert Ahead Of Ayodhya Verdict

In view of the Ayodhya verdict expected this month before the retirement of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on November 17, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has sent an advisory to all states to remain alert. A senior MHA official requesting anonymity said that a general advisory has been sent to all states and Union Territories asking them to remain alert and deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country.

The official said that the ministry has also has rushed 40 companies (around 100 personnel each) of paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the state government in maintaining law and order.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked his council of ministers to refrain from making unnecessary statements in connection with the Ayodhya verdict.

The MHA has also on Wednesday cautioned the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government to ensure all security preparedness in the temple town, which would be turned into virtual fortress to thwart any untoward incident.

Citing intelligence inputs on terror threat, the Ministry has alerted the Uttar Pradesh government through a circular issued last week on the orders of Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, directing maximum deployment of police force on the ground there and keeping tabs on rumours on social networking sites and through SMS when the apex court would announce its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute.

A “public address system” should also be put up there, the circular mentions, according to a highly-placed source requesting anonymity.

Apart from Ayodhya, the circular cautioned the Uttar Pradesh government to keep watch on highly sensitive areas in the state and deploy police force at specific locations, following apprehensions that “anti-social elements” may provoke religious sentiments of the people.

The circular was delivered to Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari, Director General of Police O.P. Singh and other departments concerned to avoid last-minute glitches, the source said.

A five-judge Supreme Court bench had heard the Ayodhya case on a day-to-day basis for 40 days and reserved its verdict on October 16. The apex court is expected to deliver its verdict on a dispute over the ownership of 2.77 acre of land in Ayodhya before November 17, when Chief Justice Gogoi retires.

The Hindu parties, during the hearing, had argued that the entire 2.77 acres plot is the birthplace of Lord Ram while the Muslim parties claimed the title over the land, saying Muslims had ownership of the land since 1528 when the mosque was built.

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