#MandirPush: Ayodhya on tenderhooks ahead of VHP, Shiv Sena rallies
Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya has turned into a fortress ahead of mega rallies of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiv Sena demanding the construction of Ram Mandir in the disputed land of the temple town. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who reached Ayodhya on Saturday for his two-day visit, demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi give a date for the temple construction. Here's more.
Thackeray performed aarti at Saryu with son and wife
Thackeray performed an aarti on the banks of Saryu river with his son Aaditya and wife Rashmi on Saturday. From Pune's Shivneri fort, Thackeray brought a pot full of soil to give it to the priest of Ram Janmbhoomi. Further, addressing a sea of supporters, Thackeray taunted ruling BJP and said, "Days, months, years and generations have passed, but the promise remains unfulfilled."
Meanwhile, Opposition slams Thackeray for 'political' visit
Earlier, this morning, Thackeray paid a visit to the makeshift temple. He claimed his visit is not linked to the VHP event, and he wanted to seek darshan of Ram Lalla. Meanwhile, the Opposition has traded attacks with the Sena and claimed the visit is driven by political motives. Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati said Ram Mandir issue was being needled to hide failures.
Separately, VHP's 'dharma sabha' has kept police on toes
The dharma sabha, organized by VHP to gather support for the temple has resulted in the heavy deployment of security in the twin towns of Ayodhya and Faizabad. The RSS-affiliate has claimed this is their biggest congregation of saints and members since December 6, 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished. Nearly, two lakh people will attend the event meant for expediting the 'construction'.
Authorities aren't taking any chances
To ensure no untoward incident takes place, ADG (Technical Services) Ashutosh Pandey, DIG (Jhansi range) Subhash Baghel and ADG (Lucknow zone) Rajiv Krishna have been camping in Ayodhya since Friday. The roads leading to the temple have been dotted with security forces. Anand Kumar, ADG (Law and order), Lucknow, said Ayodhya has been divided into nine zones and 17 sectors, and drones would be used.
Police officer speaks about the preparations
We’ve made all the arrangements for the programme (VHP’s dharma sansad). We’ve allotted spaces for parking, bypass is running smoothly we’ll ensure it stays like that. ‘Darshan’ will be from the usual routes. We’ll do everything in an organized way: DIG Ayodhya, Omkar Singh pic.twitter.com/igqgu5WgCR— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 25, 2018
Separately, AIMPLB chief says Muslims are 'terrified'
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) chief Zafaryab Jilani said for the past one week, Muslims in Ayodhya were 'terrified'. "We have asked those feeling insecure to come to Lucknow if they want," he said. Notably, no senior leaders of BJP went to Ayodhya, but UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced the construction of 'tallest Ram statue'.