Faizabad district borders likely to be sealed on Saturday to scuttle the VHP’s 84 Kosi Parikrama

Security in and around Ayodhya has been tightened to deter the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) from undertaking the 84 Kosi Parikrama on Sunday and security personnel have fanned out in the neighbouring districts. A tight vigil is being kept on trains arriving in Ayodhya and Faizabad. Bus stations are also under the scanner of the security agencies.

The police face an uphill task to identify VHP and Bajrang Dal activists from common passengers. In October-November 1990, hundreds of “kar sevaks” had reached Ayodhya and the adjoining villages by using trains and buses despite the tight security cordon.

An official spokesman of the State government said the government is in touch with the Railways and Roadways authorities.

While the borders of Ayodhya and Faizabad district are likely to be sealed on Saturday, 10 companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and 14 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deployed in Faizabad, Barabanki, Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Basti and Gonda districts. The VHP’s proposed yatra, from August 25 to September 13, for mobilising support for the construction of the Ram temple will pass through these six districts.

The IG (Law and Order), Raj Kumar Vishwakarma, said on Thursday that in addition to the RAF and PAC deployment, two SPs, 16 Additional SPs, 32 DSPs, 80 inspectors, 240 sub-inspectors and 600 constables have been drafted for maintaining tight security in Ayodhya and neighbouring areas.

Mr. Vishwakarma said people will not be allowed to enter Ayodhya on August 25. Reports said that many “sants” associated with the VHP have gone underground, fearing arrest by the police.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri has hit out against the VHP. Mr. Khatri slammed the VHP for setting a new tradition with the 84 Kosi Parikrama. The UPCC president, who the Faizabad MP, said the 84 Kosi Parikrama is traditionally held in the month of Baisakh, but holding the yatra on August 25 it is clear that it is associated with the construction of the Ram temple.

Referring to the maintenance of status quo ordered by the courts, Mr. Khatri said from the programme it is clear that the VHP has no faith in the Constitution and the judiciary. The UP Congress chief said the yatra has been scheduled with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in order to revive the moribund Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr. Khatri said there appears to be an understanding between the BJP and the ruling Samajwadi Party.