3,000 Security Officers Guard India's Mathura as Hindu Group Threatens to Install Idol in Mosque
15:08 GMT 06.12.2021 (Updated: 10:40 GMT 19.07.2022)
Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state headed by a Hindu monk and BJP politician Yogi Adityanath. Almost am fifth of the state's 200 million population is Muslim.
As many as 3,000 security personnel have been sent to the sacred Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh state to prevent any possibility of violence on the 29th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque by Hindu hordes in 1992.
Security arrangements were beefed up days after Hindu group Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (the All-India Hindu Grand Assembly) threatened to install an idol of Lord Krishna at his "actual birthplace" on 6 December.
A mosque - the Shahi Eidgah - is located next to Krishna's birthplace
Videos shared on social media show how heavy the police deployment is in Mathura.
Local police took to Twitter to share the fact that there is no shortage of vigilant security forces in Mathura city.
Mathura, which exists as both a district and city, is said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
The date, 6 December, has great significance in India.
In 1992, a 16th-century mosque - Babri Masjid (the mosque of Babur) - was demolished on 6 December in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya town. It was done by a mob led by Hindu organisations linked to the federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to them, the mosque was built at the birthplace of Hindu God Lord Rama
The site had been the subject of legal, religious, and political battles which had lasted for decades. Its demolition by Hindu activists
in 1992 sparked some of the worst communal riots in post-independence India, which lasted two months, claiming the lives of at least 2,000 people, most of them Muslim believers.
In 2010, a state court in Uttar Pradesh judged that the disputed land must be divided between all three quarrelling parties - the Muslim group Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhada and Ram Lalla, both of which represent Hindus.
In November 2019, India's Supreme Court handed over the disputed site in Ayodhya to Hindu claimants, allowing the construction of a Ram temple under the government's supervision.
However, a senior police officer stated on Sunday evening that tight security measures have been put in place ahead of the anniversary of the mosque's demolition.
"Every road, highway connecting has police barricades. Even the narrow gauge railway track that runs behind the temple-mosque complexes has been shut down," Senior police officer Prashant Kumar said.
Officials have said that plans to install a statue of Lord Krishna have been called off but the police say they are ready to handle any situation.
These developments come just before legislative elections in Uttar Pradesh which are scheduled to be held in the months of February or March next year.
In 2020, a court in Mathura dismissed a petition that sought to "reclaim" the Krishna Janmabhoomi (the birthplace of Lord Krishna).