Ayodhya: Hundreds of security personnel dotted the roads and bylanes while vehicles and rest-houses were being thoroughly checked in this holy city ahead of the 26th anniversary of the demolition of Babri mosque on Thursday, with authorities keeping a tight vigil especially in the wake of saffron outfits raising the pitch over the sensitive Ram temple issue.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal are preparing to mark the day as “Shaurya Diwas” (day of bravery) and “Vijay Diwas” (day of victory) and have asked the people to light earthen lamps as on Diwali, while the Muslim outfits have said they will observe “Yaum E Gham” (day of sorrow) and “Yaum E Syah” (black day).
Though it has almost become customary for the two sides to come out with such announcements, the events in the run up to the anniversary, especially the “Dharam Sabha” (religious conclave) organised by the VHP on November 25 on the Ram temple issue, have prompted authorities to further shore up security in the city.
Over 2,500 police personnel, besides Rapid Action Force and paramilitary CRPF, have been deployed as part of multi-layered security in Ayodhya including in and around the disputed site and several parts of Hanumangarhi area of the city, officials said.
“We have heavy security deployment in the twin towns of Faizabad-Ayodhya. The civil police along with CRPF and RAF have been deployed on roads and sensitive localities,” Superintendent of Police, Faizabad (city) Anil Singh said.
“Checking of vehicles, hotels and dharmshala (rest houses) in Ayodhya is being conducted. We have made all necessary security arrangements and have allowed only programme which are held by both the communities every year,” he said.
“Ayodhya was peaceful during the recently held Dharam Sabha and is absolutely peaceful now,” the mayor of Ayodhya, Rishikesh Upadhyay, said.
“Adequate security personnel have been deployed,” he added.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.