Police on High Alert in South India Post Ayodhya Verdict
Heavy police deployment in the Muslim-populated area of Triplicane in Chennai. 
Heavy police deployment in the Muslim-populated area of Triplicane in Chennai. (Photo: The Quint) 

Police on High Alert in South India Post Ayodhya Verdict

South India is on high alert in anticipation of a law and order situation post the Ayodhya verdict.

The Supreme Court verdict on Saturday, 9 November, directed that Hindus will get the disputed land, subject to conditions. Meanwhile, a suitable plot of land measuring 5 acres shall be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya.

As a precautionary measure, Section 144 has been imposed in Karnataka and liquor shops have been shut. Liquor shops in Kasargod have been shut till further notice. Leaders of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have appealed to the people to maintain peace and communal harmony.

Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers in public places and in areas of worship.

Tamil Nadu opposition leader MK Stalin appealed to people to look at this verdict without any disagreement. “Communal harmony should be maintained and the diversity of the country should not be disturbed. I hope the stakeholders will take forward this judgment with utmost caution,” read the statement.

Also Read : Explainer: Key Arguments That Will Decide Ayodhya Dispute in SC

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Karnataka

In view of the law and order situation, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits assembly of more than four people in an area, has been imposed in Bengaluru. The order will be in place from 6 am to midnight on Saturday.

Bars and liquor stores have been closed in the city on Saturday due to the verdict and on Sunday due to Eid Milad. All bars and restaurants in Mysuru and Dakshina Kannada districts will also remain shut.

All Superintendents of Police (SPs) have been given the powers to impose Section 144 in their jurisdictional area. No processions or public gatherings will be allowed.

The Karnataka Education Minister declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the state.

As part of the security arrangements, 8,000 police personnel, 50 Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) platoons, one Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) company, 1,200 Home Guards, and 250 civil defence personnel have been deployed across the city.

Also Read : Ayodhya Verdict Expected Shortly, CJI Ranjan Gogoi Arrives at SC

Kerala

Prohibitory orders have been put in force in Manjeshwaram, Kumbala, Kasaragod, Chendera and Hosdurg police station limits, until Monday noon.

Kasaragod District Collector has given orders to close down liquor shops and firecracker shops in the district till further notice. The move is to prevent any untoward incidents, reported The News Minute. Kasaragod in Kerala shares borders with Karnataka, and is under high surveillance.

Before the verdict, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in an official statement, “World over, people are keenly watching the Ayodhya verdict. Whatever the judgment is, the reactions in Kerala should be peaceful and all of us should ensure this,” He reminded the people that during the demolition of Babri Masjid, the people of Kerala served as role models.

“Whatever the judgment maybe tomorrow (Saturday), Kerala’s people must be ready to accept it peacefully. Every person in Kerala must take an oath to protect the peace and secularism of the country.”
Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Kerala

He insisted no one should engage in spreading propaganda and hatred.

The Kerala police is also closely monitoring social media platforms to ensure there is no one inciting communal disharmony, reported The News Minute.

The state police media centre said that ‘non-bailable charges and prosecution procedures will be initiated against’ those who spread hate.

Also Read : Ayodhya Verdict Not a Matter of Victory or Loss, Says PM Modi

Tamil Nadu

Over 15,000 police personnel have been deployed in and around Chennai ahead of the Ayodhya verdict. The police gathered at Rajarathinam grounds at around 5 am and then dispersed to different locations in the city.

There is no ban on the movement of people in public places. However, as a precautionary measure, at least 2,000 police personnel have been deployed in places of public gathering like malls, theatres, railway stations, temples and mosque.

Police sources said they are not expecting any serious communal protests in the state; but have anyway held meetings with Hindu and Muslim outfits and have asked them to help maintain communal harmony.

Heavy police deployment in other districts – Coimbatore, Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukottai and Karur. At least 2,500 local personnel and 1,500 cops from neighbouring districts have been deployed in Coimbatore alone.

Security has been beefed up at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, ISRO Propulsion Complex in Tirunelveli, Rameshwaram Temple and other sensitive places.

There has been no announcement of closing liquor shops. Police have instructed shopkeepers not to sell firecrackers and to intimate authorities if they get a bulk order or any inflammatory slogans or writings for printing.

Also Read : 2.7 Acres & a Mosque: Ayodhya Land Dispute Over Years Explained

Telangana

Elaborate security arrangements are in place across Telangana, particularly in Hyderabad.

Police personnel from the Hyderabad and Cyberabad Commissionerates are on high alert. Forces were deployed in all sensitive areas of the city, especially around monuments, mosques, markets and public grounds.

Hyderabad police shared tweets urging people to maintain communal harmony.

Mounting pressure on the Hyderabad police, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) called for a huge protest at the Tank bund on Saturday, as part of the ongoing TSRTC employees’ strike. Preventive arrests of union leaders have been made.

Also Read : Lessons From Ayodhya: How to Not Repeat History of Riots, Violence

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