In a bid to check the growing presence of 'Ram sevaks' in Ayodhya, the Centre on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take strict measures to prevent their entry.
In a communication, the Union home ministry asked the state authorities to stop group reservations in trains and crack down on ticketless travel as the 'Ram sevaks' are mostly taking trains to reach the town, a senior official said.
The official said the movement of stone pillars and other construction material by Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists to Ayodhya has also been banned.
Besides, the home ministry has put all state governments on alert to prevent any communal flare-up in the wake of Wednesday's violence in Gujarat. They have been asked to activate their police forces and prepare contingency plans to deal with the situation in communally sensitive areas.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been asked to keep strict vigil on vehicles carrying karsevaks (voluntary labour) to Ayodhya. Reports reaching the home ministry till Tuesday had indicated the presence of more than 14,000 such volunteers in the town.
The ministry has also directed the Uttar Pradesh authorities to ensure that there is no congregation of people at Ayodhya or other sensitive areas. Prohibitory orders imposed under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code during the election campaign are being extended.
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