Centre declares 32 places sensitive, IL-76 ready; states on alert

The Centre has identified 32 locations across the country where it apprehends trouble and kept forces in readiness at 16 places for quick deployment, including by heavy lift aircraft like IL-76.

New Delhi: Ahead of the Ayodhya title suit
verdict, the Centre has identified 32 locations across the
country where it apprehends trouble and kept forces in
readiness at 16 places for quick deployment, including by
heavy lift aircraft like IL-76.

Firming up its contingency plans in view of the verdict
on the sensitive issue on Thursday, the Home Ministry has
issued an advisory to states and Union Territories to keep the
forces on high alert as the judgement could trigger "sharp
reactions", sources said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has already appealed for
peace and advised against any hasty conclusion that one side
has won or the other has lost in the Allahabad High Court
verdict on the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits.

He held a meeting with top officials of his ministry
today to take stock of the situation and work out plans for
meeting any eventuality. He also visited his Ministry`s
Control Room and Integrated Operations Centre review their
functioning.

The Home Ministry has identified 32 sensitive locations
across the country -- four of them in Uttar Pradesh -- where
there is a potential for "evoking of sharp reactions"
following the verdict, the sources said.

The Centre has kept in readiness paramilitary forces at
16 strategic locations across the country. These locations are
close to airports and the security forces would be airborne in
10 minutes in case such a requirement arises, they said.

For the purpose of airlifting of forces, IL-76 and AN-32
transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force are being
positioned at these 16 locations, which include Ahmedabad,
Coimbatore, Bagdogra and Delhi.

The Home Ministry has asked paramilitary forces,
including CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF), to keep
reinforcements ready as and when needed by states for
deployment in sensitive areas after the verdict.

In an advisory, the Home Ministry has asked all states --
especially UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh
and Kerala -- and Union Territories to give "top most
priority" in maintaining law and order.

Fearing "sharp reactions and communal passions among both
Hindus and Muslims depending on the way the judgement goes",
the Ministry has asked states and UTs to keep a close watch on
activities of religious bodies of both the communities in the
run-up to the judgement.

The Ministry has informed states and UTs of the
activities of various religious groups which have already
announced countrywide mass mobilisation and awareness campaign
in view of the forthcoming court verdict.

Over 20,000 para-military and
PAC personnel were deployed in Uttar Pradesh to maintain law
and order as security was beefed today at both Allahabad and
Lucknow benches of the High Court.

Over 200 companies (20,000 personnel) of the Central
Para-Military Force and PAC were keeping a tight vigil in the
state to ensure peace, official sources said.

Over one lakh homeguards besides the state police were
also deployed in UP.

Taking serious note of reports of security agencies
hinting at possible threat to communal harmony in the wake of
the court`s decision, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of
CrPC were imposed for a week in Nahan and Paonta Sahib,
bordering Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. Shimla Deputy Commissioner J S Rana held a meeting with
leaders of various religious groups who assured that communal
harmony would be maintained at any cost.

Karnataka government today
promulgated 48-hour prohibitory orders from September 30
across the state and declared two days holiday to educational
institutions ahead of the court verdict on Ayodhya title suit. Police would deploy 50,000 personnel, besides Home
Guards as part of elaborate security arrangements to meet any
situation.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been
extended for a week from today to maintain public order, peace
and tranquility, Hyderabad City Commissioner of Police A K Khan told
reporters here.

As part of precautionary measures, pillion riding would
be prohibited from tomorrow between 9 pm and 6 am for a week.

A control room has been set
up in Jharkhand`s East Singhbhum district in view of the
Supreme Court directive.

Gujarat police will be on alert
across the state from this midnight. "Leaves of all police men have been cancelled and they
have been asked to resume duty immediately," ADGP (Law and Order), Sudhir Sinha
told PTI.

Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Satish Sharma
said 20 companies (2,000 personnel) of State Reserve Police
(SRP), 400 jawans of Border Wing Jawans, 100 men of Rapid
Action Force and 18 mobile Police control room (PCR)
vans have been deployed in the city.

Besides, three Quick Response Teams (QRTs) comprising
trained commandos would be deployed, he said.

State home secretary Samar Ghosh said an alert was sounded in
West Bengal before September 24 prior to the Allahabad High
Court decision to pronounce the judgement on the 60-year-old
Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

"That state of alertness will be extended till September
30," he said.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil
said the state police have been put on alert and leave of
policemen have been cancelled.
He appealed for peace and said people should refrain
from hurting the sentiments of other communities.

"A repeat of 1992-93 (when communal riots had broken
out in the metropolis in the wake of demoligion of Babri
Mosque) has to be avoided. Maharashtra is a progressive state
and we have to guard that image," he said.
Maintaining that proper security arrangements had been
put in place, Patil said "leave of police personnel have been
cancelled.

Chief Secretary J P Dange said 2.5 lakh security
personnel will be deployed across the state.

A fresh alert was sounded across
Bihar as well. Goa police have beefed up
security around state`s sensitive towns.

The Supreme Court today dismissed the plea for deferment
of verdict on Ayodhya case paving the way for the Allahabad
High Court to deliver its judgement in the 60-year-old
Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

-PTI

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