With fresh focus on the Babri Masjid issue in the wake of the Liberhan Commission’s findings, the 17th anniversary of the demolition was observed today amid tight security in Ayodhya and other places in the country.

Under categorical directions from the Union Home Ministry, Uttar Pradesh and other state governments beefed up security and Ayodhya-Faizabad area was converted into a virtual fortress.

While the VHP observed the day as “Shourya Diwas (valour day)”, Samajwadi Party marked it as “Kala Diwas (black day).”

All India Babri Masjid Action Committee has decided to organise special prayers for peace and harmony.

In Ayodhya, besides central forces, 500 personnel of PAC, 200 jawans of Rapid Action Force, three bomb detecting squads and anti-sabotage teams have been deployed, officials said.

CCTV cameras were in operation at the disputed site with the authorities banning public gatherings and security forces keeping a close vigil on the Saryu river here.

The authorities are extra careful this time as the atmosphere has become surcharged with the Liberhan Commission report indicting senior BJP leaders including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in connection with the demolition. The report, tabled in Parliament, however, exonerated then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.

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