Ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, Delhi Police has increased security across the national capital and asked its top officers to identify sensitive areas for deployment of additional force. The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict at 10.30 am Saturday.
In a tweet, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said: “There are potential security concerns with the SC Ayodhya verdict tomorrow morning. All government schools and many private schools are closed tomorrow, as it is a second Saturday. We are advising all private schools to also remain closed tomorrow.” All educational institutions in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar will also remain shut till Monday, as per official orders.
“Delhi Police has made elaborate security arrangements and coordinated with the ‘aman (peace) committee’, requesting them to be present in communally sensitive areas as well as around religious places. All precautionary measures will be taken in light of the situation,” said a senior police officer.
The officer said that following Delhi Police Chief Amulya Patnaik’s directions, DCPs of all 15 districts had called meetings with their SHOs Friday and discussed arrangements for sensitive areas.
“All DCPs and SHOs have been directed to increase police visibility and patrolling in such places,” the officer said, adding that personnel have been told to coordinate with hospitals and the fire department to prepare for any possible fallout of the judgment.
Police personnel also met the shahi imam and imams of other mosques, requesting them to urge people to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary.
According to a police advisory, sufficient forces are being mobilised and the department will also requisition extra Central Armed Police Forces companies from the MHA.
Police have also advised social media users to post with discretion, and restrain from spreading unverified content. “Necessary arrangements will be made to ensure safety and security of religious places. Social media platforms will also be monitored,” said Additional PRO Anil Mittal.
Meanwhile, the shahi imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, urged people “to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary”, even though “passions are running high”. “I hope that constitutional superiority shall prevail and the rule of law is not compromised. It is a testing time for the nation,” he said in a statement.