Babri anniversary passes off peacefully amid tight security

The 17th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition today passed off peacefully amid tight security with various groups demanding that recommendations of the Liberhan Commission report be implemented while others raised questions over the findings.

Under 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)”, the Samajwadi Party marked it as “Kala Diwas (black day)“.

All India Babri Masjid Action Committee held special prayers for peace and harmony.

In Ayodhya, Central forces along with 500 personnel of PAC, 200 jawans of the Rapid Action Force, bomb detection squads and anti-sabotage teams were deployed. 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, officials said.

There was no untoward incident here, they said.

The authorities were extra careful this time as the atmosphere has become surcharged with the Liberhan report indicting senior BJP leaders including Atal Behari 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.

The report was in focus at various functions and demonstrations held in Delhi, with the All India Babri Masjid Rebuilding Committee (AIBMRC) and the Popular Front of India, a confederation of Muslim groups, demanding legal action against those indicted by the commission and scrapping of the recognition of the BJP by the EC.

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