TAMIL NADU

Strong posse of police deployed in Vellore

TAKING NO CHANCES: Police personnel assembled at the Nethaji Stadium being briefed by officials about the security arrangements at the Vellore fort on Thursday.

TAKING NO CHANCES: Police personnel assembled at the Nethaji Stadium being briefed by officials about the security arrangements at the Vellore fort on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

Special Correspondent

Heavy security in view of proposed agitation at mosque

VELLORE: With the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) not conceding the demand to permit offering of prayers at the 200-year-old mosque inside the fort here, and with the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) firm in its plan to defy the ban and enter the mosque to offer namaaz, the police have made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order during the proposed agitation on Friday.

About 2,000 policemen drawn from Vellore and neighbouring Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram districts, have been mobilised. As the Sri Jalakanteswarar Temple is nearby, and the fort is accessible only through a narrow entrance, the police have provided four-tier security. Police personnel have been posted inside and outside the fort, on the outskirts of Vellore town and at the district borders.

Regulating public entry

While police personnel inside the fort will protect the monument, those outside will regulate the entry of the public. The mobilisation on the outskirts of the town and the district borders is to prevent the entry of the devout from different parts of the State to offer worship at the mosque. The TMMK has urged Muslims from all over the State to assemble there.

According to ASI sources, entry of outsiders to the mosque is prohibited under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. Since the mosque was not being used for worship at the time of declaration of the fort as a monument of national importance by the Centre, the right of entry is prohibited under the Act, said an ASI official.

Traffic diversions

Vellore Collector Dharmendra Pratap said entry to the fort would be regulated and traffic diverted in the town on Friday morning.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Vellore Range, T.P. Sundaramoorthy, Vellore Superintendent of Police N. Arivuselvam and Tiruvannamalai SP V. Balakrishnan briefed the police personnel at the Nethaji stadium here on Thursday evening.

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