One of the key concerns ahead of the Ayodhya verdict that was delivered on Saturday was the security situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was insistent that there ought to be a closure to this issue and he had even said before the verdict that the judgment should not be seen as a victory or loss to anyone.

Post the verdict too, the PM addressed the nation and compared the scenario to the fall of the Berlin Wall, which acted as a unifying factor. The job of ensuring that the nation remained peaceful was entrusted to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. 

Doval on his part decided to meet with both Hindu and Muslim scholars post the verdict. During the deliberations Doval drove the point that there was need to exercise both sensitivity and restraint. The century old case had finally come to a close and there was a need to move on, Doval had said during the meeting with the scholars.

Both the Hindu and Muslim scholars were in agreement that peace and harmony were of top most priority. Doval conveyed to them that the PM had made it clear that there needs to be a continuous dialogue between the parties and this would go a long way in ensuring peace, harmony and security in the country.

Security measures:

While the meeting with the religious scholars was of utmost importance, the intelligence had warned of fringe elements trying to flare up tensions. The social media was being viewed as the biggest culprit and the Union home ministry set up a team of over 25,000 personnel just to monitor social media accounts.

Cyber patrolling was the most important aspect an, Intelligence Bureau official informed MyNation. Both the agencies from the Centre and those from the states worked in coordination to ensure that the social media remained free of provocative posts and fake information. 

The monitoring had begun way ahead of the verdict being pronounced. The home ministry was aware that it was not possible for only the security personnel to monitor the situation on the web. They were aided by nearly 1.5 lakh volunteers across the country, who provided information on a minute to minute basis to the personnel. The IB official informed that this had helped them a great deal in securing the web. It was not just posts from India, but those from abroad too which were monitored.

We had religious leaders on board and each one had made calls to remain peaceful and maintain harmony, a home ministry official informed. However, we needed a large force on the ground to ensure that the fringe elements did not create trouble. The official explained that there were no hard measures such as arrests that were undertaken. But there was a close watch that was kept on each one of them to ensure that they did not spiral out of control.

Further, an advisory was issued to all state governments to up the vigil. The first job was to identity trouble spots which have been notorious for communal tension. Security was upped. Further the local police and administration communicated regularly with the local religious leaders, who in turn ensured that peace was maintained.

Top agencies at work:

The government was confident that it would handle the situation. However there was always a lurking danger of one single flare up. Such a flare up would mean that the violence would spread across the country.

It was probably after a long time that all the agencies coordinated so seamlessly to ensure that law and order was maintained. Agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence and the state police all worked in tandem to ensure that nothing untoward took place. 

The Prime Minister’s Office and the office of the National Security Advisor monitored the situation closely at all times. The NSA Ajit Doval on his part devoted all his time while coordinating with all the agencies to ensure that the event passed off peacefully. The message from the Prime Minister was clear that this issue needs a closure and it should not become an issue which would disrupt harmony and peace in the country.

While the fringe elements and communal hotspots were monitored, the Intelligence had warned about terror groups trying to create panic. There were several social media accounts run by the proxies of these terror groups that tried to spread panic with communally charged messages. Thanks to the coordination of all the agencies and the volunteers, such accounts were identified on a real time basis and blocked. 

Officials say that the days following the verdict passed off peacefully. However, the guard is still very much up and the situation is still being monitored. The Intelligence has advised all the agencies to keep the vigil up as there could still be some elements who would try and ensure that tensions flare up. 

Top officials explain that this was not just a coordinated effort by the agencies alone. All through the exercise, the locals, the religious leaders were also involved. This was achieved, thanks to an inclusive approach as directed by the office of the Prime Minister, they said.