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Security tight across UP on Babri demolition anniversary

December 6, 2011 - Agra

Security was tight in prominent cities and town of Uttar Pradesh on the 19th anniversary of the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

Apart from regular and reserved forces available in districts, about 90 companies of security forces, including central para military forces, were deployed in sensitive districts.

An official spokesperson said that about two dozen companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and the Rapid Action Force ( RAF), besides four companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are already deployed in Ayodhya to ensure peace.

In Agra, police officers conducted a mock drill at the local railway station with sniffer dogs.

"Security agencies have warned us of a threat by militants. Since the threat is a real one, we are conducting this mock drill to make our forces more alert. They have also been told about different types of threats, such as incidents of sabotage using explosives hidden in luggage. We are demonstrating how such a threat can be thwarted using sniffer dogs. They stay alert due to such exercises," said Ashutosh Kumar, Superintendent of Police (Railways).

"This surveillance exercise has been started today itself, and will continue till tomorrow evening. Vehicles entering Ayodhya will be checked, as will people entering the yellow zone. No vehicle without a valid pass will be allowed in the yellow zone," said Anil Kumar Rai, Superintendent of Police, Faizabad.

In Lucknow, the police were careful to prevent untoward incidents, given that the anniversary of the demolition coincides with the 10th day of Muharram, the day on which Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, is said to have been martyred.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, a prominent Muslim cleric, said that Muslim organisations were on their toes to ensure tensions did not lead to any untoward incident.

"This year, the timing has been such that 6th December coincides with the 10th day of Muharram, which is a day of special importance in Lucknow, and there is a lot of tension in the city. Therefore, special efforts have been made by Muslim organisations on this day, and the administration is also on the alert," he said.

The demolition of the 16th century Babri Mosque by Hindu zealots on December 6, 1992 had triggered widespread religious riots across the country.


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