An overwhelming presence of men and women in khaki on the ground, intensive patrolling, and monitoring of various social media platforms were some of the measures taken by the security forces to check inflammatory acts as the Supreme Court on Saturday pronounced its verdict on the disputed Ram temple site in Ayodhya.
The Union home ministry, from its North Block office at Raisina Hill, kept constant “vigil” on the country, tracking information from central paramilitary forces, intelligence agencies, and state police forces.
Home Minister Amit Shah called a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Ajit Bhalla, and Director of the Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar at his residence. He also spoke to some chief ministers such as Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh, informing them of the available support and reinforcements.
A senior home ministry official was in touch chiefs of state police forces and Central Armed Police Forces during the day.
Police forces in various states undertook prohibitive measures such as clamping Section 144 to prevent unlawful assembly and undertaking patrolling in sensitive and busy market areas to send a stern message against those who might attempt to use the verdict to create trouble.
“The situation is absolutely normal. There has been no untoward incident till now. We had directed our field officers to keep patrolling and we are also preparing for police management for the festivals that will begin from Sunday,” said UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh.
Additional DGP (Law and Order) of UP, P V Ramasastry, said about 80 cases have been registered in the past 10 days against people using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to spread wrong information, with an aim to trigger communal riots in the state.
A posse of 40 armed CAPF companies (about 4,000 personnel) were put on full operational readiness in UP and areas in and around Ayodhya district, a senior CAPF officer said.
“The law and order situation in Ayodhya has been normal and people are carrying out normal activities along with pilgrims who come to the town,” another official said. “A reserve of about 20 CAPF companies is on standby and can be mobilised quickly to any part of the country.”
In Delhi, the police issued prohibitory orders to maintain public order.
“Delhi Police will initiate strict legal action against mischief mongers or those found indulging in any activity which may adversely affect the peace and public order,” the police said in an advisory. “Activities on social media platforms will be under observation and Delhi Police advises that such platforms should be used with discretion, and users should restrain from spreading any disharmony, hatred or enmity.”
In Noida, two people were taken into preventive custody for allegedly spreading rumours.
A 30-year-old man was arrested for putting up an objectionable post related to the case on the social media in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. Restrictions were imposed by the police in the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure.
The West Bengal government put all the police stations on high alert in view of the verdict, the Gujarat police establishment was on high alert to check occurrence of any untoward incident.
The Himachal Pradesh police issued a warning against the circulation of fake news in the wake of the verdict.