With the Supreme Court set to deliver its verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on Saturday, Karnataka is witnessing an unprecedented level of security after many decades. The state has been put on high alert and the police are on their toes to avert any untoward incident that may occur as a fallout of the verdict.
While the education department has issued orders declaring holiday for schools and colleges across the state, various universities have postponed examinations that were scheduled for Saturday. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in almost all districts including the state capital Bengaluru, while sale of liquor has been prohibited in Bengaluru from 6 am to midnight on Sunday.
The police top brass held an emergency meeting soon after they received information that the apex court will pronounce the judgment on the Ayodhya issue on Saturday morning. They discussed the security arrangements and force deployments that have to be made. Addressing a press conference late on Friday night, Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Amar Kumar Pandey said that the security in the state is at the highest level after many years.
“This is a unique situation where an important judgment is being given by the Supreme Court, Eid Milad is being celebrated the next day and some want to celebrate Tipu Jayanti on Sunday. This is a challenging task for the state police and we are confident that the people of the state will maintain peace,” the ADGP said
“We have deployed 170 platoons of KSRP across the state along with the District Armed Reserve platoons and Home Guards. Spare for a bare minimum of the staff at police stations, all personnel will be on the ground on Saturday. Range and district police heads and district Deputy Commissioners will take a decision regarding imposing prohibitory orders and prohibiting sale of liquor in their jurisdictions. We have identified sensitive places in all districts and maximum deployment will be made at such areas,” Pandey said. “Two companies of central paramilitary forces are stationed in the state.
A company of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be deployed in Bengaluru while a company of Rapid Action Force (RAF) will be stationed in Mangaluru. Depending on the situation and developments, RAF can move to neighbouring districts,” the ADGP said, adding that security has been beefed up in the coastal belt. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said that no victory procession or protest will be allowed as prohibitory orders will be in place from 6 am on Saturday till midnight.
“Liquor sale has been prohibited on Saturday and Sunday, except at the departure lounge of the airport. Those riding triples or shouting slogans will be punished as per law. Police in plainclothes has been deployed across the city and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure peace,” Rao added. “The police are also monitoring social media and those who post provocative messages will be tracked and booked. Netizens should exercise caution while posting messages,” he added.