Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh and Chief Secretary Rajendra Tiwari met Chief Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi at the Supreme Court today. It is believed that this meeting was called to take stock of the preparations before the Supreme Court’s possible verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi is retiring on 17 November due to which the verdict of the Ayodhya land title case is expected before that, as the Supreme Court’s failure to deliver the verdict in that timeframe would necessitate the constitution of a new bench that has to hear the case anew.
According to sources, Chief Justice Gogoi has distanced himself from other urgent trials. He has handed over the list of such cases to Justice SA Bobde, who is going to be the next chief justice. These are cases like the Rafale deal, entry of menstruating women in the Sabarimala shrine and bringing the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court under the purview of RTI.
After hearing the case for about 40 days on a daily basis, the apex court reserved the verdict on 16 October. CJI Gogoi had said at least one month’s time would be required to write the verdict on Ayodhya.
Uttar Pradesh on alert
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has, in the meantime, instructed the administrative and police officers to maintain law and order in the State in view of the upcoming festivals and the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case.
According to a spokesperson of the Uttar Pradesh government, Yogi has said that officers should be fully alert and ready to maintain peace in the State. He made it clear that strict action should be taken against elements that try to affect law and order. Antisocial elements and other usual suspects should be closely monitored.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has instructed for the stationing of two helicopters in Lucknow and Ayodhya. An official said the helicopters would be used in emergency situations.
On Thursday, the chief minister gave these instructions to senior administrative and police officers of the wards and districts through video conferencing from his government residence in Lucknow. He reviewed law and order in other districts of Uttar Pradesh including Ayodhya. He has ordered the setting up of a control room at State and district levels and turning them operational immediately. These control rooms will operate continuously 24×7.
The spokesman said that Yogi asked the officials to hold peace committee meetings as well as dialogue with various sections of society, religious gurus, enlightened people, social workers etc. and ensure the peaceful conduct of Barawafat (Milad un Nabi) processions.
The chief minister has issued a clear instruction that those who create chaos in the guise of festivals should not be spared and appropriate action be taken against them in time. He asked for heightened security and a smooth traffic system. In addition to ensuring cleanliness and power supply in the Ayodhya district, he has asked for arrangements to deal with congestion on the routes to and from Ayodhya.
Before the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, the Union government has asked all States to maintain extra vigilance and keep a close watch on the law and order situation. In addition, 4,000 paramilitary personnel have been sent to Uttar Pradesh as a precautionary measure. RPF has cancelled all holidays of its personnel and issued an alert for the security of 78 important railway stations.
The Union Home Ministry on Thursday, in general advisory to all the States, urged them not to allow any kind of unpleasant situation. As many as 40 companies of additional paramilitary forces have been sent to help the Uttar Pradesh government for added security. These will be deployed especially at sensitive places including Ayodhya.
In view of security requirements in Uttar Pradesh, Meerut Police has despatched a notice to 10 lumpen elements, including a former MLA and a former minister, to leave the district. They have been warned if they appear in Meerut on the day of the judgment, they will be arrested immediately.
The district is divided into eight sectors and 31 zones in terms of security. As many as 163 sensitive points have been identified. According to police officials, 1,250 policemen, five companies of PAC and one company of RAF have been deployed in the district while 200 additional police personnel have been sought. Cameras have been placed at Narora and the Hindon in Bulandshahr to avert possible disturbances.