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Nation on high alert on mosque demolition anniversary

December 06, 2002 12:45 IST

The country was on high alert on Friday with thousands of armed security personnel keeping a tight vigil at communal hotspots and shrines, especially in Ayodhya and Gujarat, on the 10th anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid, coinciding with the Eid festival.

In Ayodhya, the scene of demolition of the mosque that triggered communal riots across the country leaving nearly 2,000 people dead, no untoward incident was reported by the police so far with authorities facing anxious moments.

"Everything is normal so far. Vehicles are being checked," Faizabad SSP Prashant Kumar said.

The police swung into action to remove provocative posters at some places in Uttar Pradesh.

Security was also beefed up in mosques in the temple town. Surveillance has been intensified in and around Mathura and Kashi shrines amid reports that they may be targeted by terrorists.

Paramilitary and Rapid Action Force personnel and state police are in full strength at these places. Movement of vehicles was banned near Ramjanambhoomi complex in Ayodhya, Krishna Janamboomi in Mathura and Vishwanath temple-Gyanvyapi mosque in Varanasi.

In the national capital, patrolling by the police was intensified at Jama Masjid in the walled city as also around temples. A general alert was sounded in Gujarat, rocked by months of communal violence post-Godhra, and additional security personnel were deployed in all sensitive areas of the state, including Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Kutch-Bhuj.

All precautionary steps are being taken to prevent any untoward incident in the wake of VHP's call to observe the day as Shauryadivas.

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