Ayodhya: Ahead of VHP's yatra from Ayodhya on Sunday, the Faizabad administration on Saturday cracked down on the saffron organisation arresting 50 of its activists and issuing arrest warrants against 300 members of the outfit.
Amid heavy deployment of police force in the twin towns, a team led by the Faizabad DM and SSP also carried out searches at VHP's local headquarter Karsewak Puram, Mani Ram Chawni, the temple of VHP leader and president of Ram Janam Bhumi Trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and about half a dozen suspected hideouts of VHP's activists in and around Ayodhya.
The yatra has been banned by the Uttar Pradesh government over possible communal flare-up.
The district administration, which had earlier issued arrest orders against 70 prominent VHP leaders, has now issued warrants against 300 more leaders.
"We are conducting preventive arrests of prominent VHP leaders who might create law and order problems in the name of banned 84-Kosi Parikrama yatra," Faizabad District Magistrate Vipin Kumar Dwivedi said.
"First we had issued arrest orders for 70 VHP activists and now 300 more have came on our target. Those arrested will be detained at temporary jails, and will be booked under section 144 of CrPC," he said.
Ashok Singhal, Pravin Togadia and Ram Vilas Vedanti were among the leaders against whom the warrants were issued yesterday.
Faizabad SSP K B Singh said 50 people have been taken into custody.
The VHP has proposed to take out Chaurasi Kosi parikrama yatra between August 25 to September 13 to push for Ram temple at the disputed site. Samajwadi Party government has denied permission for the yatra.
The yatra will travel through six districts, including Faizabad, Basti, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich and Ambedkar Nagar.