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Crackdown on VHP meet; 1,000 held

Source: PTI
October 12, 2003 20:50 IST
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The Uttar Pradesh administration on Sunday detained at the Jhansi railway station 1,037 people who were going to Ayodhya to attend the October 17 meeting of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Of them 150 were woman and 15 children.

At least 12 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force were diverted from Jammu and Kashmir to Ayodhya to prevent activists from gathering.

"Paramilitary forces have started reaching Lucknow and by tomorrow we will have sufficient forces to control the VHP activists," UP Chief Secretary Akhand Pratap Singh said in Lucknow.

All the routes leading to Ayodhya were sealed and trains diverted. Buses in the cities of Ayodhya and Faizabad were also stopped.

All possible means were being used to stop the activists from gathering, Faizabad Divisional Commissioner J P Sharma said.

Personnel of the Rapid Action Force, CRPF and the Provincial Armed Constabulary were deployed at Hanumangarhi, Ram Janmabhoomi complex and Kanak Bhavan Temple.

District Magistrate Deepak Kumar said there was no restriction on the entry of commoners to Ayodhya, though they were being allowed in only after thorough checking.

In Lucknow, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said since a major portion of the acquired land at Ayodhya was under the Union government's control, the Centre was equally responsible for protecting it.

"I appeal to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and Minister of State for Home Affairs Swami Chinmayananda to help me resolve the crisisÂ…" he said.

He blamed Chinmayananda for "leading the proposed VHP campaign".

"This act is a blatant violation of the oath taken by him," he added.

Press Trust of India

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