New Delhi: Throwing a spanner to the preparations of the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, a priest who was supposed to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony on August 5 has tested positive. 16 policemen on duty have also tested positive, reports said. Also Read - COVID-19: PM Modi Holds Meeting With CMs of 10 States; Total Tally Reaches 22,68,675, Deaths Cross 45K

The event is supposed to be held with not more than 50 participants. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the ceremony. Also Read - PM Modi Reviews Flood Situation With CMs of 6 States, Asks Them To Coordinate With Central Agencies

Uttar Pradesh police and Sashastra Seema Bal have been put on high alert in the districts bordering Nepal ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ayodhya, Independence Day and the coming festival season, a senior official has said. Also Read - PM Modi Inaugurates Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connecting Chennai, Port Blair

On Thursday, security was stepped up along the border in Maharajganj, Siddharthanagar, Shrawasti and Bahraich, Additional Director General of Gorakhpur Zone Dawa Sherpa said.

They have been asked to ascertain the identity of people before allowing them through the open and porous border, he said.

The ADG referred to “some intelligence inputs” but did not elaborate.

“Cameras have been put on SSB posts besides the main roads. The dog squad and one platoon of women wing have also been deployed. Metal detectors have been installed at Sonauli and Tutibari outposts on Indo-Nepal border (in Maharajganj),” Sherpa said.

Orders have been issued to other security agencies such as Indo-Nepal Border Police, Local Intelligence Unit and other intelligence agencies to be on alert, and patrolling of public places such as hotels, rail and bus stations has also been intensified, Sherpa added.

He said the porous border with Nepal is a great challenge for security forces.