The Union Home Ministry on Thursday asked all states, in particular Uttar Pradesh, to enhance security ahead of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case, the Hindustan Times reported. The verdict is expected any day before November 17, when Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi retires.
A five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had on October 16 concluded a marathon 40-day hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, and reserved its verdict in the case.
A Union Home Ministry spokesperson said the ministry has asked all states to ramp up security to avoid a flare-up following the judgement. “This is a routine exercise to alert states in advance,” he added.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya, in order to prevent trouble, The Indian Express reported.
Meanwhile, the Railway Protection Force issued a seven-page advisory to all its zones about the security preparations ahead of the verdict, PTI reported, citing unidentified officials. The advisory covers security at platforms, railway stations, yards, parking space, bridges and tunnels. It has also identified potential hotspots that could either be a site for any violence or could be used to hide explosives.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Union ministers not to make irresponsible statements ahead of the verdict. The prime minister made the remark at a meeting with his council of ministers in New Delhi. He added that the verdict should not be seen as a victory or defeat.
In the last edition of his “Mann Ki Baat” radio programme on October 27, Modi spoke about the 2010 Allahabad High Court ruling in the Ayodhya land dispute case. He highlighted how political parties and the civil society played a mature role in uniting people when efforts were made to create tension before the ruling.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, have issued similar words of caution to their cadres. On Tuesday, senior RSS and BJP leaders held a meeting with Muslim clerics and intellectuals at Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s residence in Delhi.
A prominent Muslim leader on Wednesday said the community would accept the Supreme Court’s judgment in the title suit. “We did not take to streets but chose to fight a legal battle…we are waiting for the SC verdict,” said Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President Arshad Madani. “We think it will be in our favour. But we have said it a thousand times that the country, law and SC is ours. We will accept the verdict.”
In anticipation of the judgement, restrictive orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans the assembly of more than four people, were imposed in the temple town earlier this month. They will be in place till December 10. The Uttar Pradesh government has cancelled the leave of all field officers in the state’s 75 districts till November 30. The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government on November 1 prohibited all police officials in the state from taking leave until further notice.
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