Residents of Mathura woke up on Monday morning to find their city resembling a fortress, especially the areas around the temple town’s most iconic landmark -- Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple. The local administration, supervised by top officials of the Uttar Pradesh government, has ramped up security after a few right-wing groups threatened to install an idol of Lord Krishna in the adjacent Shahi Idgah mosque on December 6.
December 6 also happens to be the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya. In response to the strident line by these right-wing groups, some Muslim groups have decided to observe the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary to raise their concern.
The police have thrown a three-tiered security ring around the Katra Keshav Dev area, where the temple rubs shoulders in a historic dispute with Shahi Idgah mosque.
The security is unprecedented as unlike Ayodhya, home to the Ram janamnbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, Mathura did not face any threats to harmony in several decades. But the threats by some right-wing groups to perform Hindu rituals inside the mosque has shattered the calm.
Every road connecting the town to the national and state highways has police barricades. Even the narrow gauge railway track that runs behind the temple-mosque complexes has been shut down.