In the face of VHP’s determination to go ahead with its proposed yatra,the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday sought help from neighbouring states in intelligence-sharing and issued arrest warrants for 70 top leaders of the saffron outfit.
The list includes national leaders like Ashok Singhal,Pravin Togadia and Ram Vilas Vedanti,official said.
“Neighbouring states have been asked for intelligence sharing in wake of the proposed 84 kosi yatra of VHP on August 25,” RK Vishwakarma,IG,Law and Order told reporters.
He said that adequate force has been deployed in Ayodhya-Faizabad to check any untoward incident.
Asked if the borders of the district would be sealed,Vishwakarma said that decision would be taken depending on the situation but for now anyone can visit the city.
“Only those going for the yatra will be stopped,” he said,however,did not elaborate how they would identify such people.
The officer said besides 13 companies of PAC and three company of RAF,two Superintendent of Police (SP),19 Additional SPs,42 Deputy SPs,135 inspectors,430 sub inspectors and 1,300 constables have been deployed in Faizabad.
The yatra has six districts in its route – Faizabad,Basti,Barabanki,Gonda,Bahraich and Ambedkar Nagar.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also met legislators of Faizabad and adjoining districts and took stock of the situation there.
The legislators were asked by Yadav to keep an eye on the situation and apprise the party and him about the ongoing developments in the area.
Meanwhile,the Faizabad district administration issued arrest warrants against 70 prominent VHP leaders of national level and state level.
The local administration is expecting about 40,000-50,000 VHP activists to take part in the Parikrama.
According to police sources,till now they have nabbed twenty VHP activists,however some senior leaders including Ram Vilas Vedanti have gone underground.
The VHP has proposed to take out Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama yatra between August 25 to September 13 to push for Ram temple at the disputed site.
However,the state government has not given permission for the programme.
In Faizabad,about a dozen police teams are conducting regular raids on various hideouts of VHP leaders.
On Friday,Faizabad district administration had banned entry of Singhal while he was coming to Ayodhya from Allahabad.
Faizabad District Magistrate Vipin Kumar Dwivedi said that heavy contingent of security forces have reached the district. “To man the situation on ground,large number of police officers have also been given to us by the state government,” the DM said.
“I have also asked the health department to be prepare for any situation,” he said.
About two dozen barriers have been installed at various locations along the Faizabad border.
All the entry barriers will be under direct supervision of sub-district magistrates and police circle officers,the DM said,adding,”I have warned that if any VHP activist crosses the border,the responsible station officer will be sacked.”
“Heavy police force along with magistrates have been posted at railway stations and bus stations. We have arranged temporary jails at various points of the district where arrested VHP activists will be detained,” said the DM.
Meanwhile,those who attended the meeting with the chief minister included– Minister and Ayodhya MLA Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey,MLA Abhay Singh,ministers Anand Singh and Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh,sources said.
“There is no tradition of such yatra at this time of year. VHP has planned the yatra to benefit BJP,but it will not work. SP government is committed to thwart any such attempt that disturbs communal harmony. The yatra has been opposed by a number of saints and seer of Ayodhya”,Pawan Pandey (Ayodhya MLA) told reporters.