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UP govt seeks intel report after stone-laden trucks reach Ayodhya

The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday sought a “confidential” report from Intelligence Department on two stone-laden trucks arriving in Ayodhya six months after the VHP announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple.

“The state government has sought a confidential report from Additional Director General (Intelligence) on the activities going on in Ayodhya,” IG (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh said.

“Two truckloads of stones have been unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property in Ayodhya, and ‘Shila Pujan’ (praying of the stones) has been performed by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma had said on Sunday.

Ram Janmbhoomi Trust’s Mahant Nritya Gopal Das has said there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be built “now”.

Police have said they are monitoring all the developments minutely.

“Stones have arrived and being kept in a private premises. Due to this development, if their was any breach in peace or communal harmony we will definitely take action,” SP Faizabad, Mohit Gupta had said.

Asserting its resolve to build the Ram temple, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had in June announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of the temple here and had also asked the Muslim community not to pose any hindrance.

Taking cognisance of media reports in this regard, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav directed Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home) to ensure that effective measures are taken to maintain peace and brotherhood in the state.

“No one will be allowed to vitiate the law and order situation. The matter of Ayodhya dispute is sub-judice and is pending in the Supreme Court. The state government will follow the SC order in the letter and spirit,” Yadav said in a statement issued here.

“Police have been asked to keep an eye on rumour-mongers and anti-social elements, and remain alert,” he said.

In the backdrop of two stone-laden trucks arriving in Ayodhya, Samajwadi Party on Monday accused “saffron forces” of trying to disrupt communal harmony even as BSP supremo Mayawati said it is the responsibility of the state government to ensure peace. 

Prominent members of the Muslim community also alleged that the VHP, which had almost six months ago announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple, is “openly making mockery of judiciary”. 

“Saffron forces are trying to create communal tension to divert public’s attention from development works undertaken by the state government,” Ayodhya MLA and State Forest Minister Tej Narain Pandey told a news agency. Reacting to the news of two stone-laden trucks reaching Ayodhya, BSP president Mayawati said, “It is the responsibility of the state government to maintain communal harmony amid increased activities of the saffron forces.” 

Vice-Chairman of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqi feared the activities of the VHP may hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community and urged the state government to take preventive steps for maintaining peace and communal harmony. 

Another member of BMAC, Haji Mahboob, warned “Muslims will also be bound to collect stones for the construction of Babri Masjid if the VHP is collecting stone for building Ram temple.”  Babri Masjid case main plaintiff Hashim Ansari alleged that while Muslims are peacefully awaiting the court verdict, “the VHP was trying to flare up communal atmosphere (in Ayodhya)”. 

“If we want to repair a mosque in Ayodhya, the local administration doesn’t allow us to. But the VHP is free to do anything which is a big threat to communal harmony,” Haji Asad Ahmad, the only Muslim corporator in Ayodhya, said.
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