Lucknow (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken stock of the state's security preparations with the senior civil and police officials and district magistrates and district police chiefs in view of the upcoming Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute and festivals like Kartik Purnima, Prakash Parv and Barawafat.
Held via video conference the meeting continued till around midnight on Thursday and the Chief Minister directed all officials to keep a watch on the social media, check for rumour mongering and remain connected to the local people and the leaders of various religious groups.
Yogi directed all senior officers to stay alert and spend the next fortnight maintaining a vigil in sensitive districts.
He instructed them to review and ensure security of religious sites, ensure that flag march and foot patrolling are carried out in a routine manner.
The Chief Minister also ordered setting up of a control room that would function 24X7 in each district and for stepping up security on commercial establishments, airports, bus and railway stations. He also ordered for a helicopter to be kept on standby in Ayodhya and Lucknow.
He directed shifting of homeless people to night shelters and securing of footpaths, roads, platforms and crossings.
As a precautionary measure, the administration has taken over 17 inter colleges, one degree college and two government buildings in Ayodhya and neighbouring Ambedkar Nagar for setting up of 20 temporary jails.
Ayodhya SSP Ashish Tiwari said these facilities would be used in emergency situations like mob mobilisation after the verdict. Forces are prepared to deal with riots, threat to disputed site and terror attacks in the temple town, he said.
The state government has appointed senior IPS officer Ashutosh Pandey, director general prosecution, to monitor the law and order situation in Ayodhya.
Pandey told reporters, "We are setting up a multi-layered security, which will include district magistrate to superintendent of police to beat constables, to maintain law and order in Ayodhya. We are also mobilising people at local and village level to accept the verdict."