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A dry, silent Ayodhya awaits title verdict

By Sharat Pradhan
September 29, 2010 17:34 IST

While creating an impregnable security net around the Lucknow bench of  Allahabad High Court, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday ordered complete closure of all liquor and fireworks' shops on Thursday, on the eve of the long-pending Ayodhya title suit.

As many as 1,450 persons have been bound down with a written undertaking not to indulge in any activity that could provoke or incite others, while licenced weapons of 125 persons have been seized as a preventive measure.

Processions of all kinds have been banned. However, schools, colleges and markets will remain open as usual.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajiv Krishna said, "While prohibitory orders under section 144 Cr PC were already in force banning assembly of four of more persons , we have also taken a decision to order closure of all liquor shops with effect from Wednesday evening , while  shops dealing in fireworks have already been closed."

He said, "The idea behind the move was to prevent any kind of manifestation of rejoicing by people in the wake of the expected verdict."

He warned, "Anyone found violating the orders will be liable to stern punitive action."

Instructions have been issued to keep a strict vigil on anyone attempting to play fireworks, and no one will be spared, he added. 

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow