UP govt starts massive crackdown to thwart VHP meet in Ayodhya

Fearing a communal flare up, the Uttar Pradesh  government on Friday began a massive crackdown to prevent Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sponsored ‘sankalp sabhas’ (meetings to take pledge to construct Ram Temple) by conducting raids at ashrams and other places at Ayodhya and Faizabad and putting leaders of VHP under a house arrest.

According to the officials here, senior VHP leaders Ram Vilas Vedanti and Suresh Das had been put under house arrest in Ayodhya while scores of other workers had been detained by the police. Officials said that the borders of Ayodhya and Faizabad had been sealed to prevent entry of VHP leaders, saints and workers in the district .

The government action came after intelligence inputs that the VHP was trying to amass workers and saints in Ayodhya to hold its sankalp meetings.

Sources said a large number of security personnel had been deployed at Faizabad and Ayodhya to thwart the meeting. The VHP,however, has claimed that over a lakh people, including saints, from different parts of the country, would be attending the meeting.

Sources said that prohibitory orders had been issued and the borders of the district had been sealed  “We are keeping a strict eye on the people arriving in the town...railways has also been alerted,” the officials said here.

Strict checking of vehicles was being undertaken at the borders of the district before being allowed in, sources said.

Local intelligence units had also been put on alert and they had been asked to inform the senior officials in case of any attempt by the VHP workers and leaders to reach Ayodhya.

The government had on Monday banned the meeting citing law and order issue and said that it could vitiate the atmosphere in the state .

VHP on the other hand claimed that it would hold the meeting despite the `repressive tactics' by the authorities. ``People have started arriving in Ayodhya for the meeting'', claimed a VHP leader in Ayodhya.

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