- Over 12,000 policemen deployed across Ayodhya
- No plans to impose curfew in Ayodhya or shut schools, colleges: sources
- 16,000 volunteers to keep track of ground situation and inform police
With days to go before the much-anticipated Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute case, the Uttar Pradesh police is all geared up with a four-layered security plan. If one plan fails, the other one will be pressed into action, news agency PTI reported quoting a police official. Over 12,000 policemen have been deployed across the temple town ahead of the verdict. The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent 4,000 paramilitary jawans in the state and more forces will be pushed in early next week including the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of the Uttar Pradesh police. The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all states and union territories to ensure "no untoward incident takes place anywhere" following the Ayodhya verdict. Sources have told NDTV that there are no plans to impose curfew in Ayodhya or shut schools or colleges down. "We want to portray a sense of ormalcy," the officials said. The Supreme Court is expected to pronounce its verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute case before November 17.
Here's a look at all the police preparations ahead of the Ayodhya verdict:
An Additional Director General rank officer of the Uttar Pradesh Police has been made in-charge of the security measures in Ayodhya.
The police said they are ready to deal with terror attacks, communal riots, public resentment, any danger to the disputed site and all possible loopholes. An anti-riot drill was organised by the Uttar Pradesh Police
The assembly of more than four people is prohibited in Ayodhya town and district till the end of December.
Social media platforms are being closely monitored. Any attempts to inflame passions over social media may invite the National Security Act (NSA). Sharing and liking any contentious posts on social media about the Ayodhya verdict will also attract police action, according to an order by the Ayodhya District Magistrate.
OP Singh, the Director-General of Police in Uttar Pradesh, said that they are fully prepared and alert for the Ayodhya verdict. "We are carrying out foot-patrolling, holding peace committee meetings and have instructed all district Superintendents of Police (SPs) and magistrates to keep in touch with people and that no one will be allowed to flout the law. We have geared up our intelligence network and if required we will invoke the National Security Act against anti-social elements who try and vitiate the atmosphere," Mr Singh said.
Ayodhya police have launched a mobile application connecting 16,000 volunteers in 1,600 villages with 10 volunteers each. These volunteers will keep a track on the ground situation and inform the police teams about any possible attempts to disturb the environment in the run up to the verdict.
The Ayodhya district has been divided into different security zones - red, yellow, green and blue - to avoid any untoward incident. While the red and yellow zones will be secured by the Central Para Military Forces (CPMF), the green and blue zones will be looked after by the civil police. The red security zone covers the disputed site, the yellow zone covers five miles periphery of Ayodhya, the green zone covers 14 miles periphery of the temple town and the blue zone covers the adjoining districts of Ayodhya, news agency PTI reported.
Seven hundred government schools, 50 Uttar Pradesh Board-aided schools and 25 CBSE schools have been taken over to accommodate the security forces, according to news agency PTI.
The police in Ayodhya and other districts are holding meetings at village level between the members of both communities and are also carrying out flag marches. Anti-riot drills are also being performed by the UP Police to prepare for protests over the Ayodhya verdict.
According to a PTI report, schools and colleges that can serve as temporary jails have also been identified across the district and elsewhere in the state.