Karnataka remains peaceful as police keep strict vigil

"There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the state so far. Though peace prevails, we are keeping a strict vigil to ensure law and order is maintained," Gopal Hosur, state additional director general of police, told IANS.

In India’s tech hub, uneasy calm prevailed throughout the day with roads nearly deserted after 4 p.m. as several companies, including IT bellwethers Infosys and Wipro, deciding to shut offices at 2 p.m. to ensure their employees reached home safely before the verdict.

With the state government declaring a two-day holiday for all schools and colleges from Thursday and many IT firms opting for early working hours, vehicular movement was 50 percent less than normal in the city.

Though state-run buses plied normally during the day, they were half-empty for lack of regular commuters.

“To be on a safer side, service class decided to return home early as they were not sure about the situation after the verdict came out,” Hosur said.

Shops, hotels and restaurants downed shutters as a precautionary measure even as news trickled that the verdict went in favour of the Hindus, by and large.

In the run-up to the D-day, Karnataka went on high alert with over 50,000 policemen deployed across the state, with about 18,000 in Bangalore, to maintain peace and harmony.

“About 900 anti-social elements were taken into preventive custody as a precautionary measure. We have appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony irrespective of the Ayodhya outcome,” state home minister R. Ashoka told reporters.

An hour before the verdict, Ashoka held a meeting with leaders of both the communities and appealed to them to ensure no protest or victory rallies were taken out.

“Verdict is secondary for us. It does not matter in whose favour the verdict goes. Maintaining peace and communal harmony is our only priority. As Karnataka people are peace-loving and believe in brotherhood, we hope the state will remain incident-free,” Ashoka said.

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