New Delhi: Aerial surveillance, monitoring software, and help in data analytics are among a set of support that the Indian Institute of Kanpur is providing to the Uttar Pradesh police, which has stepped up security ahead of the judgement in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case expected anytime next week.

The state police had reached out to the elite engineering school a couple of months back, following which a plan was drawn on what the institute could do to help with security arrangements ahead of the top court’s judgment on the emotive issue, two persons familiar with the development said.

“Yes, UP police reached out to IIT Kanpur, they wanted help in surveillance. We are supporting them in aerial surveillance, have given them some software and helping them in data analytics and algorithm," said an official at IIT Kanpur, declining to be named as the matter is sensitive.

IIT Kanpur is also helping the Uttar Pradesh police monitor scores of sensitive areas in the state with support of “drone like facilities".

“The UP Police chief is very tech savvy. They wanted some more help but as an academic and research institutions we don’t have that capability. We cannot provide like a company ready to use products in plenty. We told them and they are very accommodative…we are providing know how, lending them tech eyes and ears. Our team is working with them," said another official of the institute familiar with the development.

A senior Uttar Pradesh official confirmed that IIT Kanpur was indeed helping the force with aerial surveillance. “We will be monitoring the ground situation using high-definition cameras which will be linked to a live video feed across control rooms," said the official who also declined to be named.

Massive security preparations are underway across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh to pre-empt any outbreak of violence following the Supreme Court’s verdict in the emotive Ayodhya land dispute case that is expected to be delivered before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on 17 November.

The central and state authorities have been careful to prevent any outbreak of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, which is no stranger to communal incidents, including the 2013 violence against Muslims in Muzaffarnagar. About 4,000 central paramilitary troops have been deployed in the state, while state police personnel have fortified sensitive areas such as Gorakhpur, Kanpur and Faizabad. Prohibitory orders are in force in communally sensitive areas in the state.

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