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Ahead of Ayodhya verdict: States get MHA advisory, RPF cancels leave

The police have also set up a social media monitoring cell to not only flag incendiary messages, but also scotch rumours, sources said.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary , Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi |
Updated: November 8, 2019 6:32:42 am
Police personnel on vigil in Ayodhya on Thursday. (PTI)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday sent a general advisory to all states and Union territories asking them to deploy adequate security personnel at all sensitive places ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute.

Sources said general inputs about possible unrest in selected areas in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere have been shared with states. Intelligence agencies have also warned of lone wolf attacks by disgruntled elements depending on the nature of the verdict.

“A general alert and advisory has been sent to all states. All agencies are on alert,” a ministry official said.

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The Indian Express had on Thursday reported that the MHA has agreed to send 40 companies (3,500 personnel) of the CRPF to Ayodhya. Sources said the forces have been sent even as nine companies of CRPF and RAF in the state are on standby.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also issued a security advisory and deployed 14 additional companies to protect railway property and religious structures identified in railway premises across India. It has cancelled leave of its personnel and decided to escort all trains.

UP Police, meanwhile, has taken steps to ensure no untoward incident happens. The task has been compounded by upcoming festivals. Sources said the state is witnessing 15-20 lakh floating population and more people are expected during Kartik Purnima between November 11-13. The police have identified trouble zones and areas with mixed population and regular flag marches are being held there, sources said.

“With the galvanising of the entire force, UP Police is committed to maintain law and order. All steps are being taken for intensive contact with the community by holding peace committee meetings. We are strategising the forces through foot patrolling, random checking and keeping an eye on antisocial and communal elements,” UP DGP O P Singh said.

The police have also set up a social media monitoring cell to not only flag incendiary messages, but also scotch rumours, sources said.

The RPF has also been gearing up, with armed personnel being deployed on escorting duties and sniffer dogs pressed into service. “We have identified religious sites within railway premises and issued instructions to safeguard them,” Arun Kumar, Director General of RPF, said.

The RPF advisory said that close watch should be kept on all religious structures near railway stations or within its premises as they may become “flashpoints” in case tempers run high. The RPF has identified 80 stations with high footfall. Strict operational guidelines have been issued in case a mob is sighted on railway premises.

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