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Security heightened ahead of Modi’s Lucknow Dussehra visit

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Lucknow, Oct 11 (IANS) Security was heightened in this Uttar Pradesh capital on Tuesday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation in the Dussehra celebrations here, police said.

Other than deploying the companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), traffic was also diverted and security set in place for the high profile event taking place in the Aishbagh locality.

"Traffic diversions were put in place and commuters were informed in advance of the change in movement," an officer told IANS.

Inspector General of Police (Lucknow) A. Satish Ganesh said that despite the security, every efforts was on to ensure that the citizen did not face any problem due to the extra precautions taken.

Convenor of the event, city Mayor and BJP national Vice President Dinesh Sharma informed that Modi would be witnessing the ‘Ravan Vadh’ during the Ram Leela programme.

People taking part in the celebrations would be allowed to enter the grounds between 3.30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. Beyond that all entries would be stopped.

Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor Ram Naik and the minister representing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would attend the event.

Following an ‘aarti’ of the actors essaying the mythological characters, Modi and Rajnath Singh would address the gathering.

Organisers informed that Modi would be gifted with a rare portrait of Hindu poet-saint Goswami Tulsidas and a copy of Ram Charit Manas among others.

They also said that the event would be broadcast live.

The Ram Leela in Aishbagh will complete 70 years, but this would be the first time that such a high-profile dignitary will attend the event, Mayor Sharma pointed out.

Some political leaders have questioned Modi’s attendance at the event owing to the upcoming state assembly elections in UP but the BJP has denied any "political angle".

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