The Ram Temple in Ayodhya, one of India’s most revered religious sites, has been a focal point of devotion and controversy for decades. With the aim of bolstering security in this sacred place, the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF), a specialized unit of the UP Police, is set to take on the responsibility of guarding the innermost ‘red zone’ of the temple complex starting from September 20, 2023. This significant development marks a shift in security management and reflects the commitment of the Uttar Pradesh government to safeguard this cherished place of worship.
The UPSSF’s Role
The UPSSF, inspired by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), is a highly trained force entrusted with providing security to religious sites and towns in Uttar Pradesh. Comprising a contingent of 270 personnel, this elite unit has been meticulously prepared to take charge of security operations at the Ram Temple. Their mission is to ensure the safety and sanctity of the temple, its devotees, and the surrounding areas.
The ‘Red Zone’
The ‘red zone’ of the Ram Temple complex, spanning an impressive 108 acres, is the heart of the temple’s security apparatus. This area has previously been guarded by the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). However, with the introduction of the UPSSF, these forces will be replaced by the specialized unit. The CRPF will maintain its presence in the isolation zone where the idol of Ram Lalla is enshrined. Meanwhile, the PAC personnel will gradually withdraw to the outer cordon, ensuring a seamless transition of security responsibilities.
Training and Preparedness
Security is paramount at the Ram Temple, and the UPSSF has undergone extensive training to meet this challenge. Personnel have been trained in frisking and inspecting pilgrims, a crucial aspect of temple security. This specialized training ensures that devotees can worship without impediment while maintaining a high level of security.
Security Meeting and Audits
The decision to entrust the UPSSF with guarding the ‘red zone’ emerged during a recent security meeting attended by key stakeholders, including the additional DG (security), Ayodhya DM, SSP, and other officials. This decision underscores the government’s commitment to strengthening security measures at the temple. Security audits will be conducted regularly, and measures will be adjusted based on the influx of pilgrims and evolving security requirements.
The UPSSF’s responsibility isn’t limited to the Ram Temple alone. They will also be deployed at Vidhan Bhawan and metro stations in Ayodhya to ensure comprehensive security coverage in the city. This multi-faceted approach to security highlights the government’s proactive stance in safeguarding not only the temple but also its surroundings.
Forward-Looking Security Plan
Prashant Kumar, the Special Director General (Law and Order), emphasized the development of a forward-looking and adaptable security plan. This plan encompasses two key aspects: security arrangements for Ayodhya itself and security in neighboring districts, where events like melas (festivals) and snans (ritual baths) are held at various locations.
The UPSSF has played a pivotal role in shaping this security plan, drawing inspiration from their training received from the CRPF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and CISF. To further strengthen security, a dedicated battalion is being raised in Ayodhya, and UPSSF personnel are being deputed from the PAC and district police, ensuring that the force is adequately staffed and trained.
Preventing Drowning Incidents
One notable aspect of the security plan is the deployment of a state disaster response force at the ghats (riverbanks) in Ayodhya to prevent drowning incidents. This proactive measure underscores the government’s commitment to the safety and well-being of devotees during significant events and gatherings.
The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to deploy the UPSSF in the ‘red zone’ of the Ram Temple complex and at other strategic locations in Ayodhya demonstrates a concerted effort to enhance security measures at this revered site. With meticulous training, regular security audits, and a forward-looking security plan, the UPSSF is well-prepared to ensure the safety of devotees and maintain the sanctity of the temple. As the Ram Temple continues to be a symbol of faith and devotion, these enhanced security measures reflect the government’s dedication to preserving its legacy for generations to come.
The Uttar Pradesh government’s proactive approach in assigning the UPSSF to safeguard Ayodhya’s Ram Temple is a significant step towards enhancing security and preserving the sanctity of this revered site. With an unwavering commitment to the safety of devotees and the legacy of the temple, this move reaffirms the government’s dedication to harmoniously managing the convergence of faith and security.
As the UPSSF takes charge of the ‘red zone,’ the temple’s inner sanctum, devotees can worship in an environment of heightened security and tranquility. The seamless transition from previous security forces to the UPSSF reflects meticulous planning and execution.
the UPSSF’s role in securing Ayodhya’s Ram Temple signifies not only the government’s commitment to preserving the temple’s heritage but also its dedication to fostering an atmosphere of devotion and peace for millions of pilgrims who seek solace and spiritual connection at this hallowed site. The future of the Ram Temple, under the vigilant care of the UPSSF, looks promising and secure, reaffirming its place as a symbol of unwavering faith.