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 - Maharashtra Government To Slash VAT on Fuel Soon, CM Eknath Shinde Announces

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 - Breaking News Highlights: PM Modi To Inaugurate, Lay Foundation Of Multiple Development Initiatives In Varanasi On July 7

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 - Maharashtra: Eknath Shinde Govt To Face Floor Test On July 4

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.

Live Updates

  • 6:10 PM IST

  • 6:02 PM IST

  • 6:02 PM IST
    Ayodhya Live Updates: Mohan Bhagwat said that the nation needs to unite and demand for a law for Ram temple construction on the disputed site. Blaming the SC for the delay, he said that the time has come for a ‘jan jagran’.

    Bhagwat also said that it is wrong to connect Babar’s actions to Muslims.

  • 5:52 PM IST

    Ayodhya Live Updates: Mohan Bhagwat reportedly said that the ASI found during excavation that there was a temple at the site. If not Lord Ram’s then whose temple will be built there, Bhagwat added.

  • 5:51 PM IST

    Ayodhya Live Updates: It seems like Ram temple is not a priority for the Supreme Court. The society doesn’t run only with law, justice delayed is justice denied, says RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

  • 5:47 PM IST
    Ayodhya Live Updates: Terming VHP’s “Dharm Sabha” and visit of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackerey to Ayodhya an open “challenge” to Supreme Court, All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPLB) Sunday said a situation is being created against the Muslims.

    “It is not the matter of giving a mosque but its a matter of principle that how many mosques will we have to sacrifice gradually. If we talk to someone, it will withdraw and another one will come.

    “Sri Sri Ravishankar had offered that we should construct a big mosque outside Ayodhya. But later he cornered himself. Just imagine, what had happened, we entered into an agreement with him,” AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said while talking to PTI.
  • 5:46 PM IST
    Ayodhya Live Updates: The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) on Sunday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his urgent intervention into the developments in Ayodhya, where the VHP has organised a public meeting to press for construction of a Ram temple.

    “If any attempt is made to forcibly change the status quo at the disputed site at Ayodhya, it would tantamount to a gross violation of the orders of the Supreme Court,” AIMMM chief Navid Hamid said in the letter.
  • 4:13 PM IST

    Ayodhya Live Updates: As devotees poured in Ayodhya on Sunday to attend the VHP’s ‘Dharam Sabha’, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) (PSP) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav submitted a memorandum to Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik urging him to maintain law and order in the state.

  • 4:06 PM IST

    Ayodhya Live Updates: I’ve not appeared in SC between Jan-Nov 2018. When matter came up in October, CJI said this is not priority. So, does PM have courage to make statement against judiciary. This only shows PM wants to rake this up for purposes of election, for making political capital out of it, says Kapil Sibal

  • 4:05 PM IST

    Ayodhya Live Updates: PM alleges Congress was responsible for the matter not being heard in SC, I being representing one of the parties, the Congress party. Which also he doesn’t know because Congress isn’t a party in it, nor is BJP. I was representing a stakeholder, says kapil Sibal