Eight UP colleges turn into temporary prisons

Lucknow: In its efforts to ensure that no law and order situation arises in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, the Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday set up eight “temporary prisons” in different colleges in Ambedkarnagar district, bordering Ayodhya.

The educational institutions have been asked to ensure basic amenities like power and electricity and give the control of the campuses to the police “immediately.”

The November six order doesn’t mention the duration for which the colleges are supposed to act as prison. This has left students and teachers of these colleges in a fix.

This is not the first time that schools have been converted into prisons in Uttar Pradesh, officials said. “The temple dispute had led to heightened tension in the state many times.

Also Read: Ayodhya: No tension, only apprehension ahead of verdict

District authorities had often taken over educational institutions, to maintain law and order, from time to time,” an official said. Moreover, 700 government schools, 50 UP Board-aided schools and 25 CBSE schools have been taken over to accommodate security forces.

The Supreme Court verdict on the disputed 2.77 acres of land is expected anytime next week, most probably on November 14. Incidentally, about one million devotees are likely to descend on Ayodhya on November 12 to take a dip in Sarayu, on Kartik Purnima.

It often takes a day or two for the devotees to leave the town after the holy dip. Result: Over 12,000 cops have been deployed across Ayodhya. More forces, including paramilitary troops, will reach on Monday.

According to Ayodhya Senior Superintendent of Police Ashish Tiwari, "Apart from security measures, massive intelligence network and confidence-building exercises are in place.

Over 16,000 volunteers in 1,600 villages have been roped in and connected through a mobile application. They will help maintain peace among communities.”

The district administration has also imposed a ban on inflammatory social media posts related to the Ayodhya dispute until December 28. The state has cancelled the leave of all police and administrative officers on the field until November 30.  

PTI ADDS: The Centre has rushed around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Uttar Pradesh. In another development, the Railway police has cancelled leave of its force and stepped up vigil at 78 major stations, as part of its security preparedness.