25th anniversary of Babri demolition: Security in UP stepped up

Paramilitary soldiers in Lucknow. File photo: Reuters

Lucknow: Security was beefed-up across Uttar Pradesh, including Faizabad and Ayodhya, on the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the disputed Babri Masjid structure Wednesday.

Twenty seven additional companies of the provincial armed constabulary (PAC) have been deployed across the state.

Of these, six companies each have been deployed in the state capital and in Faizabad district, specially to keep vigil on the temple town of Ayodhya.

Ayodhya has been divided into four zones, and 10 sectors and prohibitory orders under section 144 have been clamped. Any form of protests, demonstrations have been completely banned.

While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been celebrating the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque as 'Shaurya Diwas', some Muslim organizations observe it as a black day.

All fire cracker shops have been asked to shut down and vigil has been stepped up around liquor vends as well.

Orders have also been issued to check roof tops, which in Uttar Pradesh are often used to stockpile stones and bricks to be used during communal clashes.

Director general of police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh has asked the district police chiefs to step up vigil and keep a tab on elements who could try to foment trouble.

He also directed officials to clamp prohibitory orders if situation arises. There were intelligence inputs that some mischievous elements and various terrorist outfits might try to disrupt peace on the day.

The police personnel have been asked to carry riot gears including helmets, body protectors, tear gas shells, rubber bullet guns for any emergency.

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