At least 40,000 police personnel have been deployed in Mumbai ahead of Supreme Court’s verdict on the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid (Ayodhya) case on Saturday.
The financial capital had witnessed communal riots following the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya in December 1992 and January 1993.
In addition to patrolling units, officials are also monitoring the city through drones and live CCTV feeds from the police control room.
“We are prepared to tackle any eventuality,” DCP Pranay Ashok said, adding that police are keeping a close watch on every activity in the city and will also deploy SRPF, Riot Control Police and Rapid Action Force.
“We are also monitoring online activities through our social media wing. We will block objectionable posts and content as need be to ensure that no rumours are spread,” the DCP added.
Meanwhile, another official clarified that the Internet services are not disabled as of now. “Police will take a call depending upon the situation,” he added.
When asked about declaring holiday for schools, the official said, “We have communicated to school education department. Some schools are already shut due to Diwali holidays while the decision about the rest will be taken according to the situation.”
He further clarified that section 144 of the CrPC which bars gathering of people is not imposed in the city.
However, prohibitory orders restricting the unlawful assembly of people were already in place in Mumbai from November 4 to November 18 under the Maharashtra Police Act 1951.
Under the same orders, no celebration or mourning with respect to the judgement will be allowed in the city.
Citizens have been urged not to believe in rumours and those managing social media pages or WhatsApp groups with a large number of users have been told to alert police if they come across any inflammatory messages.
Update (11:05 am)
Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in Mumbai as of 11 am on Saturday, November 9.
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#AyodhyaVerdict | Section 144 of the CrPC, which bars gathering of people, has been imposed in Mumbai.
The order, effective from 11 am on Nov 9 till 11 am on Nov 10, has been promulgated to prevent any untoward incident in the city in wake of the sensitive Ayodhya verdict. pic.twitter.com/KcgdymJjU1
— LocalPressCo Mumbai (@LocalPressCo) November 9, 2019