Maharashtra under security blanket before Ayodhya verdict

Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra have been put under a high security blanket Thursday, hours before the verdict in the Ayodhya case.

Mumbai: Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra have been put under a high security blanket Thursday, hours before the verdict in the Ayodhya case.

In Mumbai, the government has identified around 45 locations as "sensitive" and extra forces have been deployed to maintain calm in those areas.

Security has also been tightened in sensitive towns like Bhiwandi (Thane district), Malegaon (Nashik district) and Aurangabad ahead of the verdict to be given in the afternoon by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits.

Officials said around 7,000 anti-social elements were rounded up during the past 24 hours and preventive detentions were still continuing Thursday morning.

However, residents of Mumbai woke up with the usual routine as schools, colleges, shops and commercial establishments are open Thursday.

There were the normal crowds of office-goers in the morning with packed public buses and suburban trains even as police maintained vigil at practically every hundred metres, randomly checking vehicles, patrolling roads and frisking individuals.
A contingent of over 37,000 police personnel, besides other security forces have been deployed in Mumbai to foil any untoward fallout of the verdict. Their efforts supplemented by the State Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force, Riot Police and other forces.

Senior police officers, including assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners, have been ordered to remain at their work places for 72 hours till Friday night.
"We shall live and work in our offices for three days since we have to be alert tomorrow, at least till the Friday prayers are over," a police officer in south Mumbai told IANS.

The state government earlier cancelled all leaves and regular weekly offs of police personnel.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Home Minister R.R. Patil, Director-General of Police D. Sivanandhan and others are monitoring the situation. Several ministers have also been asked to help local authorities in maintaining law and order situation.

IANS

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