People gather in Ayodhya as the demand for a speedy construction of the Ram Temple at the disputed Babri Masjid site.

Ayodhya Turns Saffron As Shiv Sena, RSS, VHP Renew Ram Temple Push

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The city of Ayodhya stood awash in saffron on the weekend of 24 and 25 November, with the Shiv Sena, VHP and RSS holding different events to push for the construction of the Ram Mandir.

While Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s two-day visit was replete with jibes at the BJP for not doing enough for to construct the temple, the VHP and RSS organised a show of strength in the form of the ‘Dharam Sabha’ on Sunday, attended by lakhs of workers.

Though there was a build-up of tension before the weekend with Ayodhya turning into a virtual fortress, the next two days remained largely incident-free.

  • Uma Bharti said that she appreciated Uddhav Thackeray’s efforts for Ram Mandir and appealed to all political parties to support the demand
  • In the context of the temple issue, Thackeray likened the Modi government to ‘Kumbhakarna’ who has been sleeping for the last four years
  • All India Muslim Personal Law board called the Ayodhya build-up an ‘open challenge to Supreme Court’
  • Thousands of police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in Ayodhya over 24 and 25 November

'BJP Worshipper of Ravana, Not Ram': Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee alleged on Monday that the BJP is "worshipper of (demon king) Ravana" and not Lord Ram.

The Trinamool Congress supremo also said her party does not try to garner votes in the name of god.

“They (the BJP) perform puja of Ravana and not Ram, they try to spread differences among people.”
Mamata Banerjee at a public rally

Meanwhile, senior RJD leader Rabri Devi dared the BJP to go for temple construction at Ayodhya, following the demand made by right-wing organisations like RSS and VHP to take the ordinance route ignoring the Supreme Court's order.

She slammed the BJP on the Ayodhya issue saying its nothing but their "poll gimmick" during election time.

Appreciate Uddhav Thackeray's Efforts, Ram Mandir belongs to All: Uma Bharti

Cabinet Minister Uma Bharti on Monday said that she appreciates Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s efforts for Ram Mandir and appealed to all political parties to support the demand.

“Yes, I appreciate Uddhav Thackeray for his effort. BJP doesn't have a patent on Ram Mandir, Lord Ram is of all. I appeal to everyone including SP, BSP, Akali Dal, Owaisi, Azam Khan, etc to come forward and support the construction of the temple,” she said.

Bhim Army Chief to Visit Ayodhya, Says VHP Event to Incite 'Communal Frenzy'

The 'Dharma Sabha' in Ayodhya aims to whip up "communal frenzy" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad alleged Sunday, and said he will visit the temple town on Monday to urge the authorities to ensure that the rule of law prevails.

Referring to the renaming spree of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, he said the Yogi Adityanath dispensation should rechristen Ayodhya to Saket, claiming it was the "name of the area during the Buddhist time".

“What is happening in Ayodhya right now is nothing but another attempt by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar to whip up communal frenzy, instigate violence and then use the bloodshed to polarise voters to benefit the party in the 2019 elections.”
Chandrashekhar Azad, President, Bhim Army

The chief of the Dalit outfit said, the country should be run according to the Constitution and whatever judgement the Supreme Court pronounces on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit should be respected by all.

But right-wing activists have descended at the temple town, "posing a threat" to law and order, he alleged.

“So, I will visit Ayodhya on Monday, and I will carry a copy of the Constitution with me. I will also meet the district magistrate, and remind him that the rule of law should be ensured, and things should not be allowed to get out of hand.”

Ayodhya Build Up an Open "Challenge" to Court: AIMPLB

Terming VHP's "Dharm Sabha" and visit of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackerey to Ayodhya an open "challenge" to Supreme Court, All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday said a situation is being created against the Muslims, PTI reported.

“It is not the matter of giving a mosque but its a matter of principle that how many mosques will we have to sacrifice gradually. If we talk to someone, it will withdraw and another one will come.”
Maulana Wali Rehmani, AIMPLB General Secretary 

"Sri Sri Ravishankar had offered that we should construct a big mosque outside Ayodhya. But later he cornered himself. Just imagine, what had happened, we entered into an agreement with him," AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said told PTI.

“VHP’s dharm sansad and visit of Thackerey and similar such programmes, a situation is being created against Muslims and its also an open challenge to the judiciary (SC).”

On Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh yadav's statement that Army should be brought in Ayodhya, Rehmani said "his demand is not unjustified especially keeping in mind the role of the state police and biased action against Muslims."

“In such a scenario, it seems Akhilesh is disappointed with the police and has demanded deployment of Army there. Government will be responsible for communal tension, if any.”

ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar on the Security Arrangement in Ayodhya

The Additional Director General of the area confirmed that the law and order situation in Ayodhya is under check. He said that the security has been divided into a red zone, a yellow zone and two main security zones.

(Photo: PTI)
The security on the streets of Ayodhya.
“State government, state police and administration are committed to uphold the directions by the Supreme Court and High Court.”
Anand Kumar, ADG (law and order)

He also said that heavy deployment of CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces), PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary), ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) has been done.

“Drone cameras are being used to assess the crowd. Thirteen parking spots have been designated, 2,000 buses from various places have come to Ayodhya,” he said.

He also spoke about information that the police had received about an attack on Ayodhya.

“We received an alert by the IB (Intelligence Bureau) a few days back, it was a non-specific alert. Action is being taken. People from intelligence agencies under state, government and centre have been deployed there and are monitoring the situation,” he said, reported ANI.