VHP’s massive ‘Dharma Sabha’ today, massive security deployment
AYODHYA: The temple town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh has been turned into a virtual fortress ahead of RSS-affiliated right-wing outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s massive ‘Dharma Sabha’ on Sunday to push for a grand Ram Temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site. The ‘Dharma Sabha’ will be held at Bade Bhakt Mal Ki Baghia, around 300 metres from the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas workshop.
The organisers of ‘Dharma Sabha’ had claimed that nearly 3 lakh ‘devotees’ will attend the event, which has triggered some apprehension over the safety of the Muslim community in the temple town.
Ahead of VHP’s Dharma Sabha, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit the Ram temple site in Ayodhya. This is Thackeray’s first visit to Ayodhya. He and his family members along with top Shiv Sena leaders had been camping here for the last few days.
The Shiv Sena chief is also reported to have brought a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which will be handed over to the priest at the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ when he meets him later.
His visit to the disputed site comes a day after he launched a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre over the delay in promulgating an ordinance for the construction of Ram Temple.
Thackeray on Saturday asked the Narendra Modi government to wake up from a ‘Kumbhakarna-like slumber’ and declare the date for its construction.
The temple town has been turned into a virtual fortress with multiple layers of security and deployment of drones as people in large numbers of arriving here to participate in VHP’s `Dharma Sabha’ here.
Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the Army should be deployed in Ayodhya, if needed, to maintain law and order.
In a statement from Lucknow, ADG (Law and order) Anand Kumar said Ayodhya city has been divided into nine zones and 17 sectors to draft the security plan. Over 70,000 security personnel have been deployed across the temple town for the proposed ‘show of strength’ in which three lakh people ( more than what was witnessed in 1992) including seers are expected to participate. To maintain law and order in the town, the UP government has also deployed anti-terror squads, special police and paramilitary personnel, including Rapid Action Force (RAF) cameras to monitor the crowd in real time. (agencies)