Ayodhya verdict: Schools, colleges in UP to be closed till Monday

All schools, colleges, educational institutions and training centres in Uttar Pradesh will remain closed from Saturday to Monday as the Supreme Court will deliver its highly-anticipated verdict on the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

Several states across the country have increased security before the Supreme Court rules on the disputed site and thousands of paramilitary force members and police have been deployed in Ayodhya.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday directed administrative and police officers of all districts to strengthen security measures in view of the Supreme Court verdict.

WATCH | ‘Elaborate policing; confidence-building measures’: Ayodhya SSP on security ahead of SC verdict

 

Adityanath told the officers to station helicopters in Ayodhya and Lucknow for patrolling and transportation of security personnel. An aircraft will be also stationed in Lucknow, he said.

Divisional commissioners, additional directors general of police and inspectors general were directed to spend the night in their zones and districts in order to meet local people and review the security arrangements there.

The chief minister also asked officials to keep watch on the social media and take action against anti-social elements if they tried to disturb communal harmony.

The officers were told to activate the intelligence units and monitor the activities of suspicious people. No one should be allowed to indulge in lawlessness, he said.

They should maintain a watch on petty incidents as well, he said. They should also maintain regular contact and communication with religious heads, he added.

A peace committee consisting of prominent people of all communities will be constituted and it should meet regularly under the chairmanship of local officers, the chief minister said.

The police officers were directed to organise foot patrolling and activate the 112 emergency helpline service. The superintendents of the police of the districts that share their borders with Nepal and other states were directed to strengthen security.

The district magistrate Court had already imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Ayodhya in October. Ayodhya’s district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha had said in an order that Section 144 will be in effect till December 10.

The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court heard a batch of petitions challenging the judgment of Allahabad High Court on September 30, 2010, trifurcating the disputed land in Ayodhya into three equal parts among Ram Lalla, Central Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhara.

These three parties, however, moved the top court challenging the high court verdict and sought the modification of its judgment.

The bench completed the daily hearings in the matter on October 16 and reserved its verdict that has been among India’s most sensitive and divisive political issues, which will now be delivered before Gogoi retires on November 17.

Hindus believe the 16th-century mosque, Babri Masjid, was built over a temple dedicated to Hindu god Ram, whose birthplace is also considered to be at the site.

The mosque was demolished by a mob of thousands in 1992, triggering a cycle of violence and riots across India.

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