New Delhi: Security has been tightened in Chennai and nearby places ahead of the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case, which is expected to come at around 10:30 AM on Saturday.

More than 15,000 police personnel have been deployed in and around the Tamil Nadu capital in the build-up to the judgment in the sensitive and decades-long case.

Ahead of the verdict, the city police gathered at Rajarathinam Ground in Egmore at 5 AM where they were divided into several groups and sent to different locations. Of these, at least 2,000 personnel have been deployed at places of public gathering like malls, theatres, railway stations, temples, mosque etc. Further, there is no ban on free movement and shopkeepers have been instructed not to sell firecrackers and inform the police if they get a bulk order/ inflammatory signs for printing.

Meanwhile, police in heavy numbers have been deployed in other cities like Coimbatore, Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukottai and Karur. Coimbatore Police have also already held meetings with Hindu and Muslim groups and urged them to ensure that peace and social harmony is maintained in the wake of the verdict, regardless of which way it goes.

Security beefed up at installations like Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, ISRO Propulsion Complex in Tirunelveli, Rameshwaram temple and other prominent places. However, no call has been taken as yet on closing down liquor shops.

Security has been heightened all across the country in the wake of the impending judgment. Ayodhya, the epicentre of the entire issue has been turned into a virtual fortress.