Ayodhya tense as Ram Mandir debate intensifies; VHP meet today at 11 am

Hoardings put by the Shiv Sena and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) parties ahead of the Ram Temple event. (PHOTO:PTI)

Ayodhya is a fortress ahead of the 'Dharma Sabha' organised on Sunday by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) where prominent Hindu seers were likely to spell out their stand and strategy for construction of a grand Ram temple.

The Uttar Pradesh administration has taken over the town. The massive rally is expected to begin at 11 a.m.

Although, there is heavy security deployment, many were violating the prohibitory orders in place with hundreds of thousands of Ram Lalla followers converging to the temple town, police said.

There are 48 companies of the provincial armed constabulary (PAC) and 15 companies of para-military forces deployed on all major roads and intersections.

 

Barriers have been put up on busy thoroughfares to ensure that crowd control is easy in case of any untoward incident.

Close circuit cameras have been installed at more than 150 places in the two along with drone-mounted ones hovering over the streets to keep an eagle eye on the surging crowds.

 

More than 100 prominent Hindu seers, including Mahant Ravindra Puri, Mahant Suresh Das of the Digambar Akhada, head of the Ram Janmabhoom Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Jagatguru Ramanadcharya Hansdevacharya from Haridwar, Jagatguru Ramanandacharya Swami Ram Bhadracharya, Swami Gyananad Giri from Odisha were part of the religious congregation.

VHP leaders informed IANS that Hindu devotees and Ram temple supporters from around 50 districts of Uttar Pradesh have been mobilised for the show of strength.

 

Senior VHP leaders including its international vice-president Champat Rai are camping in the temple town, overseeing arrangements for the 'Dharma Sabha'.

The administration, however, said that the number of devotees coming to pay obeisance to Ram Lalla has dropped in the past few days, apparently because of security concerns and the tension ahead of the rally.

On Saturday, 17,680 people visited Ram Lalla, a number which on Friday was 49,112.

 


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