In view of the Ayodhya verdict expected before the retirement of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on November 17, a foolproof security plan has been devised for the temple town to avoid any untoward situation. The holy town will be converted into a high-security camp prior to the apex court's verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute.
A total of 153 companies of security forces, comprising of central police forces, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Uttar Pradesh Police will be deployed in Ayodhya. Of these, a large number of security forces have already started reaching the city.
Traffic police personnel in large numbers are also being deployed to control traffic, which can be diverted to surrounding districts before the verdict. Heavy vehicular traffic on the National Highway can also be stopped.
The administration has also been directed to built temporary jails at different places in Ayodhya to check the sudden rush of people heading towards the temple town.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a meeting with all the district magistrates, SSPs, through video conferencing to review the law and order situation in the state ahead of the Ayodhya verdict. The meeting was also participated by the Chief Secretary, DGP and senior officials of the state.
Among other key measures being taken include deployment of UP ATS commandos as well as sleuths of intelligence agencies in Ayodhya, besides monitoring through drones. People staying in Ayodhya's different dharamshalas and guest houses are also being scanned, and the police have appealed to people coming to the town to keep their identity cards with them at all times and cooperate during the security check.
The administration has made a three-tier security arrangement for the temple town in view of the Ayodhya verdict. The first phase was implemented from October 15, the second phase has been implemented from November 1, while the third phase will come into force a few days before the verdict.
Shailendra Singh, Superintendent of Police (Rural), Ayodhya has been made the nodal officer to lead the security arrangements of all the surrounding districts as well as the holy town.
The administration has divided the security of Ayodhya in 4 zones:
1. Red Zone: This will cover areas around Ram Janmabhoomi, where the security system will be the most vigilant, and no one will be allowed to visit the area without permission on the verdict day.
2. Yellow Zone: The entire Ayodhya town has been kept in this zone, and this includes all the temples, dharamshalas, hotels, ghats and houses. This zone will also have a multi-layer security arrangement.
3. Blue Zone: The outskirts of Ayodhya covering old Faizabad will come under this zone, which will also have a multi-layer security arrangement, which will have bar-coding along with various checkpoints.
4. Green Zone: All the districts adjoining the temple town, including Ambedkaranagar, Barabanki, Basti, Gonda, Sultanpur have been placed in this category. The police have been directed to remain alert. All vehicles passing through these districts will be thoroughly scanned and checked. If crowds from these districts begin to move towards Ayodhya, they will be stopped.
Apart from these arrangements, jawans of water police and fire brigade have also been deployed. The railway stations of Ayodhya and Faizabad will also be closely monitored.
The police administration has appealed to people not to pay heed to rumours, and extend their cooperation to help the administration in maintaining peace.
Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an advisory to all states to remain alert. A senior MHA official requesting anonymity said that a general advisory has been sent to all states and Union Territories asking them to remain alert and deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country.