Run up to Ayodhya verdict: Yogi govt sets up control rooms, Goa imposes curfew

Section 144 CrPC is already in place in Ayodhya till December 10.
Police personnel conduct a route march in Ayodhya on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

Ahead of the crucial Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, the Centre on Thursday (November 7) has asked all states to remain alert and ensure security in sensitive areas.

In a late-night video conference with top civil and police officials and divisional commissioners and district magistrates on Thursday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said two helicopters will be on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya as part of the security arrangements. The helicopters will be used in case of an emergency, an official said.

An official release later said the chief minister reviewed the law and order situation in each district and gave necessary directions to ensure normalcy. It was also decided that a state-level control room will be set up in Lucknow. Every district will also have a separate control room, the release said.

Adityanath warned that strict action will be taken against anyone trying to disturb the law and order.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya.

A general advisory has been sent to all states and Union territories asking them to deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country, a home ministry official said.

The ministry has rushed 40 companies of paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the state government in maintaining law and order. A company of paramilitary forces comprises about 100 personnel.

According to reports, directives have been issued by the police headquarters to police chiefs in 34 communally sensitive districts including Meerut, Agra, Aligarh, Rampur, Bareilly, Ferozabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Saharanpur, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr and Azamgarh.

Meanwhile, Faizabad police have deployed 16,000 volunteers to keep an eye against objectionable content on social media. Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh has asked the police to book cases against the offenders on social media under National Security Act (NSA).

“We have prepared a four layered security plan. In case one plan fails, it will be taken over by another,” NDTV quoted a senior police official as saying.

The four security zones that have been created are: red, yellow, green and blue. While red and yellow will be manned by Central Para Military Forces (CPMF), green and blue will be manned by civil police, he added.

The red security zone covers the disputed site, the yellow zone covers 5 miles periphery of Ayodhya, the green covers 14 miles periphery of the temple town and the blue zone covers the adjoining districts of Ayodhya.

Goa imposes prohibitions

The Goa government too on Thursday imposed prohibitory orders in the state until further orders. Additional District Magistrate Vikas SN Gaunekar said in his order that “upon delivery of the verdict there are chances of communal disharmony” and that processions or protests by various groups could disturb peace.

The magistrate executing his powers under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure, has prohibited gathering of five or more persons, taking out processions or rallies, carrying firearms or lathis, swords, daggers or spears among others, as well as use of loudspeakers, shouting of slogans and burning of firecrackers in public spaces.

A verdict by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench of the Supreme Court in Ayodhya case is expected before November 17, when the CJI retires. It is to be noted that, section 144 has been imposed in Ayodhya till December 28.

The advisory from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also said that leaves of all its personnel have been cancelled and they have been instructed to be engaged in escorting trains. The advisory, which covers aspects like security at platforms, railway stations, yard, parking space, bridges and tunnels as well as production units and workshops, has earmarked all potential hotspots which could either be a site for any violence or could be used to hide explosives.

A verdict by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench of the Supreme Court in Ayodhya case is expected before November 17, when the CJI retires. It is to be noted that, section 144 has been imposed in Ayodhya till December 28.

(With inputs from agencies)