NEW DELHI

States on high alert, tighten security

CLOSE WATCH: A constable stands guard in front of the Kherudin Jama Masjid in Amritsar on Tuesday. Security was heightened at key religious installations across the country following a militant attack on the makeshift Ram Temple premises in Ayodhya. PTI

CLOSE WATCH: A constable stands guard in front of the Kherudin Jama Masjid in Amritsar on Tuesday. Security was heightened at key religious installations across the country following a militant attack on the makeshift Ram Temple premises in Ayodhya. PTI  

`Terrorist attack at Ayodhya has hurt the sentiments of Indians all over the world'

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Tuesday expressed shock over the terrorist assault at the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya. "It is a very serious matter. The incident has hurt the sentiments of Indians all over the world,'' she said here in a statement.

Ms.Raje said both the Centre as well as the Uttar Pradesh Government should conduct an enquiry into the security lapses. "The entry of terrorists into the Ramjanmabhoomi premises is a matter of grave concern. It could be part of a wider conspiracy,'' she said.

She asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the matter and instruct the Uttar Pradesh Government to ensure more security in the area. She also appealed to the people not to get provoked by the terrorists' "cowardly act''.

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president B.D.Kalla condemned the "fiyadeen'' attack at the Ramjanmabhoomi premises. "An act of terror at any place of worship is highly deplorable,'' he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party State president Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi, who termed the incident "very unfortunate'', blamed the Centre and the UP Government for the lapses in security. "They have played with the sentiments of the Hindus,'' he said.

The "gaddhinasheen'' of the Dargah of Kwaja Moinuddhin Chisti at Ajmer, Zainul Abedeen, has deplored the terrorist attack in Ayodhya. "Terrorist activities are against the tenets of Islam. Moreover, attempts at terrorising others will not bring about any tangible solution to the issue of Babri masjid,'' he said in Ajmer.

Jamaat-E-Islami Hind State president Engineer Salim joined the critics of the dastardly act and suggested a "thorough and unbiased enquiry'' to expose those behind the "conspiracy''.

Meanwhile, an alert was sounded in Rajasthan and all district superintendents of police have been asked to maintain vigilance, ADG(intelligence) O. Bharadwaj said.

Char Dham alert

According to a PTI report from Dehra Dun, a high alert was on Tuesday sounded in the Char Dham shrine circuit comprising Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttaranchal. ``Our police force has been put on high alert,'' Deputy Inspector General of Police R. Singh Meena said here. The police had been asked to be on patrol day and night in the Badrinath temple area as it is one of the famous shrines in Uttaranchal, he said. Uttaranchal is attracting hundreds of pilgrims as the Char Dham yatra is going on. Additional police force had been deployed at all vantage points, Mr. Meena said.

Bandh called

According to an UNI report from Amritsar, security and vigil has been intensified in and around the Golden Temple as a precautionary measure.

An official spokesman here said that additional police force had been called from Taran Tarn and Majitha police districts for deployment around religious shrines in the city, including the Harmandir Sahib and Durgiana Temple.

Prior to this, DIG (Border Range) Hardish Singh Dhillon reviewed the security arrangements at a meeting attended by SSPs of the border districts.

SSP (Amritsar) R. P. S. Brar also held a separate review meeting on Tuesday evening on the security arrangements in the district.

According to a Bhopal report, Security was tightened and alert sounded across Madhya Pradesh to maintain peace and normalcy.

The BJP and the VHP called for a bandh across Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. They charged that ``wrong'' security policies of the Centre and Uttar Pradesh Government were responsible for the terrorist strike in Ayodhya.

BJP State President Shivraj Singh Chauhan said in a statement here that essential services including hospitals, medicine shops and milk supply, had been kept out of the bandh.

Hitting out at the Centre, he said the attack could take place only because of its ``wrong'' policies under which POTA was buried and other anti-terrorist measures were slackened.

In a separate statement, senior VHP leader Anand Prakash Goyal accused the Centre's stand on security matters as being responsible for the attack and demanded foolproof security in all religious and sensitive places.

Besides, calling for a State-wide bandh on Wednesday, the VHP had also decided to observe ``wipe out terrorism and save the country'' week from Wednesday, Mr. Goyal said.

A Ranchi report said a Statewide bandh and a `chhaka jam' (blockade) has been called tomorrow by ruling BJP in Jharkhand as effigies and the Pakistani flag were burnt.

BJP State president Yadunath Pandey and secretary Prem Kataruka took out a procession and burnt the effigy of UPA Government as well as the Pakistan. Protests were also staged at district headquarters, Mr. Pandey and Mr. Kataruka said.

Meanwhile, a high alert was declared at the famous Shiv temple at Deogarh with the police deployed in strength to protect the shrine where the `Sawan' festival begins on July 22. Security had been beefed up for the bandh, the police said.

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