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UP goes on highest alert ahead of Ayodhya verdict

Last updated on: September 30, 2010 12:20 IST

UP goes on highest alert ahead of Ayodhya verdict

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A thick security blanket has been thrown across Uttar Pradesh with paramilitary forces keeping an aerial vigil of sensitive places, including the disputed site in Ayodhya. The high court, which will be pronouncing the verdict, has been declared a 'no-access zone' restricting entry to only those connected with the case listed on Thursday.

The intelligence network is on high alert throughout the state to monitor the movement and activities of anti-social elements. As a preventive measure, aerial survey of sensitive places, including the Ram Janmbhoomi complex in Ayodhya, has been done, police sources said. They added that force deployment has been such that it would take minimum time for them to reach any troubled spot.


Image: Rapid Action Force personnel stand guard on a road in Ayodhya
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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All the security personnel deployed in Ayodhya and Faizabad have been equipped with tear gas shells and rubber bullets. The gazetted officers of various government departments have been asked to assist in policing. They have also been provided with rubber bullets and tear gas shells.

Helicopters have been kept on alert and asked to keep a vigil on the activities of mischievous elements, sources said. They added that though there is no ban on the movement of people, a strict vigil is being maintained and hospitals and doctors have been put on alert to remain prepared in case of any eventuality.


Image: Paramilitary troopers stand guard in Ayodhya
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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Three dog squads, four bomb disposal squads, five anti-sabotage teams and fire tenders have also been deployed at strategic points in Ayodhya and Faizabad. A total of 20 companies (over 2000 personnel) of Central Reserve Police Force have been deployed for the inner security of the Ram Janmbhoomi complex, besides 38 other companies of police and Provincial Armed Constabulary for the twin towns and 16 other companies for rural areas, police sources said.

In Lucknow, 20 companies of the CPMF, 30 officers and 900 special police officers have been deployed. The sale of liquor and firecrackers has been banned to check any overt display of victory or defeat.


Image: Policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Ayodhya
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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The media, which is being kept away from the court premises, with arrangements for press briefing about the verdict at the collectorate premises, has been also been advised against speculating on the verdict.

A control room has been set up at the police headquarters with six phone numbers being made public to facilitate any information about trouble makers.


Image: Rapid Action Force personnel patrol a road in Allahabad
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters
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The security of the three judges of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court, who would be pronouncing the verdict, has been increased and one platoon of the Provincial Armed Constabulary and five Central Reserve Police Force personnel have been deployed at their respective residences. An escort, a pilot car and one police support officer has been provided to each of them.

A deputy superintendent of police rank officer has been made in-charge of the judges' security, the sources said.


Image: Paramilitary troopers patrol a road in Ayodhya
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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Borders with adjoining Nepal and Uttarakhand have been sealed and a strict vigil is being maintained on all those coming to the state from these sides.

Security forces have staged flag marches in all the sensitive places and districts, including Lucknow, Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura in the state and prohibitory orders are in force at some of the places, sources said.


Image: Police stop a motorbike at a checkpoint in Ayodhya
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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As many as 52 companies of the CPMF, 150 companies of the PAC, over 80,000 homeguards and 20,000 Prantiya Rakshak Dal personnel, along with nearly 80,000 civil police have been deployed for security, sources said.

The government has already identified 25 districts of the state as sensitive and 19 others as hyper-sensitive. These districts include Agra, Allahabad, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Bahraich, Bulandshahr, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Kanpur city, Meerut, Moradabad, Mau, Varanasi, Faizabad, Mathura, Bijnore, Muzaffarnagar and Lucknow.


Image: A Rapid Action Force personnel keeps guard atop his armoured vehicle in Allahabad
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters
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