City stays calm, but on high alert

The city remained calm after the much-awaited Ayodhya verdict on Thursday. The streets were deserted in the afternoon and shops were shut down by the police in all parts of the city. As details of the judgment became known, they were discussed and interpreted by people many of whom were glued to their television sets.

In the older part of the city, a curfew like situation prevails with large numbers of police deployed to control any trouble that may break out. Attempts by some groups to burn crackers in Mangalhat and Sultanbazar were prevented by the police who toured the city constantly to asses the situation. Around 20,000 policemen have been deployed in the city. The Rapid Action Force and Octopus personnel have also been deployed in sensitive parts of the city.

“So far no incidents have been reported in the city,” said commissioner of police, Mr A. K. Khan. “The police are in full control of the situation. No rallies will be allowed. We are will be more alert on Friday.” He said religious and political leaders have given an assurance that they will cooperate with the police to maintain law and order. “There shall be no protests and no rejoicings and no flags will be displayed in public,” he said.

The police have not made any request for closure of schools and colleges and will act depending on the situation, Mr Khan said. On Thursday, schools closed by early afternoon as did offices, both government and private. The home minister, Ms P. Sabita Indra Reddy, said that if anyone is unhappy with the judgment they should take it up legally. “I request all parties and religious groups to cooperate. Don’t hurt the sentiments of others,” she appealed. The DGP, Mr K. Aravinda Rao, met the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, on Thursday evening to brief him about the situation.

A senior Intelligence official said the positive sign is there were no reports of violence in country.


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