Delhi Police has made an elaborate arrangement in central Delhi to avoid any law-and-order issue during the Viraat Dharm Sabha at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. The sabha is being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and several right-wing units are expected to gather to press the Centre for a legislation on Ram Mandir in the winter session of Parliament. Organisers claim it will be the largest congregation in the capital for the cause of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
VHP has already held such sabhas in Ayodhya, Nagpur and Bengaluru in November, and in many other cities earlier this month with the same demand. RSS sarkaryavah Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi will be main speaker in the Delhi event, which will be also addressed by VHP international president V S Kokje and others.
While Ramlila Maidan has a capacity to accommodate around 70,000, spokesperson Vinod Bansal said several lakh volunteers are coming from Meerut and Braj regions of Uttar Pradesh and parts of Haryana and Rajasthan.
He said that more than two dozens LED screens have been installed on all approaching roads so that visitors can watch the programmme there if they cannot reach the ground.
VHP has also created a new Twitter handle, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel for live streaming the sabha. Saffron flags and strings with text of “Jai Shri Ram” have been put up on all connecting roads, apart from hoardings with photographs of lord Ram and demands for a legislation.
Ramlila Maidan shares its boundary with Faiz Ilahi mosque that is located at the adjoining Asaf Ali Road and is around 50 metres from the main stage of the sabha. A VHP leader claimed the event will be held in a “disciplined” manner because the RSS is monitoring it.
Around 5,000 policemen, including 10 companies of paramilitary force, have been deployed. “Police officers will be deployed in and around the venue, where over 4-5 lakh people are expected to come. We are taking extra precautions so nobody creates trouble,” said DCP (central) M S Randhawa.
Police said they have also taken cognizance of some posters that have been found pasted in parts of the capital, appealing to people to oppose the sabha. The Delhi Police cyber cell is also on alert to check the spread of rumours.
Police are also taking help from retired Delhi Police officers who are well-versed in tackling law-and-order situations. Meetings were held at the police headquarters on Friday and Saturday, following which all additional DCPs were asked to be deployed at Ramlila Maidan.
Shops surrounding the ground have been asked to be shut till Sunday evening. Sources said Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik will himself keep a tab on the event. “Several roads leading to central Delhi will remain shut till the evening and commuters have been asked to avoid these routes,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar.