Security has been geared up on the eve of the 17th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid and authorities have banned observance of the day by political parties through different functions to avert any law and order problem.

While VHP has decided to observe the day as Shourya Diwas (valour day), the Samajwadi Party has planned Kala Diwas (black day). The All India Babri Masjid Action Committee has decided to organise special prayers for peace and harmony.

Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brijlal said district police chiefs have been asked to ensure that these programmes did not vitiate communal atmosphere.

He said tight security arrangements were being made in Ayodhya and other sensitive districts.

In Ayodhya, besides central forces, 500 personnel of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), 200 jawans of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and three bomb detecting squads and anti-sabotage teams have been deployed, he said.

RAF teams have also been deployed in Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, Aligarh, Varanasi, Mau, Kanpur and other districts, he said.

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

Sources said public places including railway stations, bus stands and markets were kept under surveillance to avert any attempt to disturb law and order.

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