New Delhi: Ayodhya has turned into a virtual fortress with multiple layers of security and deployment of drones for Sunday’s ‘Dharam Sabha’, being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to push for the early construction of the Ram temple. The Dharma Sabha will be held at Bade Bhakt Mal Ki Baghia, around 300 metres from the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas workshop. Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown May Extend Beyond April 14 as Coronavirus Cases Rise Over 2,000; Death Toll at 53
In a statement from Lucknow, ADG (Law and order) Anand Kumar said Ayodhya city has been divided into nine zones and 17 sectors to draft the security plan. Over 70,000 security personnel have been deployed across the temple town for the proposed ‘show of strength’ in which three lakh people ( more than what was witnessed in 1992) including seers are expected to participate. To maintain law and order in the town, the UP government has also deployed anti-terror squads, special police and paramilitary personnel, including Rapid Action Force (RAF) cameras to monitor the crowd in real time. Also Read - Maharashtra: Coronavirus Cases Climb to 335, PM Modi Speaks to Uddhav Thackeray | Top 10 Points
Besides VHP’s ‘Dharma Sabha’, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is also expected to visit the makeshift Ram temple. He is reported to have brought a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which will be handed over to the priest at the Ram janmabhoomi, later in the day. After visiting Ram Lalla, he will interact with the media and address a public gathering. Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra's COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 8, Positive Cases Cross 200
The Sena chief arrived at the temple town on Saturday afternoon along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya amidst slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Thackeray, yesterday visited Lakshman Kila and went to the banks of the Saryu river in the evening to offer prayers. Later he addressed media and lambasted Narendra Modi-led Centre government over delay in bringing ordinance for the construction of Ram Mandir.
“I have come here to awaken the Kumbhakarana,” Thackeray said, while indirectly comparing Modi, or his government, to the Ramayana character known for sleeping for months at a stretch. “Today’s Kumbhakarna has been sleeping for the past four years,” he added.
“But how many years should we wait for the temple? Ram temple is a matter concerning faith and the government needs to bring a law before the court verdict,” he said while adding that doesn’t want to take the credit for the temple construction, and others were free to do so.
Thackeray also recalled late former prime minister Vajpayee as saying, ‘Ab Hindu maat nahi khayega (Hindus will not be defeated now), and added, “Hindus will not sit silent.” ‘There is no political motive behind my visit to Ayodhya, he claimed.
This is Thackeray’s first visit to Ayodhya and party leaders, including MP, Sanjay Raut, and others had been camping for the last few days to make preparations for the visit.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has slammed the BJP and the Shiv Sena, saying they are raking up the Ram temple issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to divert attention from their failures. “Had their intentions been good they needn’t have waited for five years. It’s their political tactic, nothing else”, she asserted.