The temple town of Ayodhya, about 140 km from the Uttar Pradesh capital, breathed easy on the day when the constitution bench of Supreme Court delivered its much awaited verdict on the vexed title suit of the disputed land.
The town, which had virtually been turned into a garrison over the past few weeks in the anticipation of the long pending case, largely remained normal with shops in the main markets of Sahabganj, Devkalli, Fatehganj and Subhashnagar open and catering to customers.
Last night, the state government had declared a holiday across educational institutions in UP for three days starting Saturday as a precautionary measure with the SC slated to deliver its verdict around 10:30 this morning.
In its judgement, the SC paved way for the construction of a Lord Ram Temple at the disputed site, while directing the Centre to provide 5 acres land to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque in lieu of the razing of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
Since there was barricading throughout the main thoroughfare of the city, the famous ghats of Ayodhya, including Nayaghat and Jhunkighat wore a deserted look, since the devotees faced numerous frisking and checks by the police.
Meanwhile, Ayodhya district magistrate Anuj Jha told Business Standard adequate security forces had been deployed in the city to maintain peace and to thwart any possible threat to the law and order situation.
“The city remains calm and there is absolutely normal movement of people. The police and security forces are alert to deal with any situation,” he said and underlined the prohibitory orders would remain in force for more some time.
City resident Samu Gupta, who runs a tea and general merchant shop near Naya ghat, welcomed the SC decision, saying at last the matter had been resolved and there would be lasting peace in Ayodhya now.
Onkar Nath Shastri, a priest at the famous Tirumati temple dedicated to Lord Ram, hailed the SC verdict and observed the people were happy that a grand temple would now be built.
However, a section of the Muslim community expressed disappointment with the court’s decision saying the case which basically pertained to the settlement of the title suit did not serve justice to the Sunni Waqf Board, which was party to the case.
“We are disappointed with the decision and feel that the Waqf Board should file a review petition in the SC. Nonetheless, the harmony between Hindus and Muslims would remain as unblemished as ever in Ayodhya,” Mohd Shafiq, a government teacher, observed.
Similarly, Mohd Gufran lamented that all political parties had now shunned Muslims’ issues and were now only working for the gratification of the majority community for vested interests.
Source: Business Standard