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Ayodhya security under lens; Muslims fear reprisal
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
July 05, 2005 18:40 IST
Militants breached three safety zones and reached close to destroying the sanctum sanctorum of the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday.
Shockingly, the disputed temple site, where the 16th century Babri Masjid once stood, is guarded by forces drawn from three different outfits.
The site's overall security falls under the purview of the state government and the entire area around the sanctum sanctorum is divided into three security zones.
The area immediately around the temple is called the red zone and is guarded by the Central Reserve Police Force. The next is the yellow area guarded by the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the outer ring is the green zone which is guarded by the local police of Uttar Pradesh.
Devotees entering the red zone are thoroughly checked and not allowed to carry anything with them, not even a pen.
However, armed militants managed to cross the three zones and reached a spot close to the disputed temple structure. This is seen as a serious security lapse.
The militants were killed before they could attack the temple. One of the grenades that they threw inside the temple did not go off.
Muslims living in Ayodhya and Faizabad fear reprisals like in the case of the Godhra incident.
People belonging to the minority community are demanding more central forces to prevent any communal flare-up.
Advocate Khaleeq Ahmed Khan, an activist based in Ayodhya and dealing with Babri Masjid's legal case, told rediff.com over telephone: "There is fear among Muslims here because some of those with vested interests are trying to use this incident for political purpose."
He claimed that people did not have faith in the local police and were looking forward to credible police forces like the Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force being deployed.
"There has been a security lapse and we had asked the authorities to increase the security cover but they didn't do anything," Khaleeq claimed.