Ayodhya fallout: 32 places sensitive, IL-76 planes kept ready

Firming up its contingency plans in view of the verdict on the sensitive issue on Thursday, the Home Ministry has issued an advisory to states and Union Territories to keep the forces on high alert as the judgement could trigger "sharp reactions", sources said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has already appealed for peace and advised against any hasty conclusion that one side has won or the other has lost in the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits.

He held a meeting with top officials of his ministry today to take stock of the situation and work out plans for meeting any eventuality. He also visited his Ministry's Control Room and Integrated Operations Centre review their functioning.

The Home Ministry has identified 32 sensitive locations across the country -- four of them in Uttar Pradesh -- where there is a potential for "evoking of sharp reactions" following the verdict, the sources said.

The Centre has kept in readiness paramilitary forces at 16 strategic locations across the country. These locations are close to airports and the security forces would be airborne in 10 minutes in case such a requirement arises, they said.

For the purpose of airlifting of forces, IL-76 and AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force are being positioned at these 16 locations, which include Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Bagdogra and Delhi.

The Home Ministry has asked paramilitary forces, including CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF), to keep reinforcements ready as and when needed by states for deployment in sensitive areas after the verdict.

In an advisory, the Home Ministry has asked all states -- especially UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala -- and Union Territories to give "top most priority" in maintaining law and order.

Fearing "sharp reactions and communal passions among both Hindus and Muslims depending on the way the judgement goes", the Ministry has asked states and UTs to keep a close watch on activities of religious bodies of both the communities in the run-up to the judgement.

The Ministry has informed states and UTs of the activities of various religious groups which have already announced countrywide mass mobilisation and awareness campaign in view of the forthcoming court verdict.

The Supreme Court today dismissed the plea for deferment of verdict on Ayodhya case paving the way for the Allahabad High Court to deliver its judgement in the 60-year-old Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.

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