(PTI Photo/ Nand Kumar)  (PTI11_8_2019_000249B)
(PTI Photo/ Nand Kumar) (PTI11_8_2019_000249B)

All eyes are on Ayodhya and the entire state has been put on alert with heightened security. The government hurriedly announced closure of all educational institutions from Saturday till Monday.

“Whoever disturbs the harmony in the state, including those rumour mongers on social media such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, will be dealt with strictly.

Anyone who forwards or shares any message, must ensure it is correct. We will ensure law and order at all cost,” DGP OP Singh said in a statement.

Section 144 has been imposed in the State to curb any untoward incidents. All religious leaders have appealed for calm and underscored the need to take the verdict in stride, come what may.

Due to the sudden announcement of the date of verdict, many people rushed to ration shops to purchase grains and necessary items for stock. 

The situation in Ayodhya, ground zero, remains on a knife's edge. Almost 40,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed.  Cops are prowling in every nook and corner.

All "victory celebrations" and "mourning processions" have been banned; and all kinds of restrictions have become the order of the day. Eight schools have been converted into makeshift prisons.

Devotees who had descended in Ayodhya for a dip in Saryu on Kartika Purnima might be evacuated, sources said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a three-hour review meeting with top police and administration officials in Lucknow last night. The chief minister has asked for two helicopters to be on standby, one in Lucknow and one in Ayodhya, to tackle any possible emergency.

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Free Press Journal