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Over 2,500 cops deployed in Ayodhya, hotels checked

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.