B'loreans come of age, defy religious intolerance

Judgement day: City remains calm; shops, malls down shutters as verdict is delivered

B'loreans come of age,  defy religious intolerance

Long-time residents feel that times have changed and they have moved on. In the words of a traffic policeman: "In my service as a policeman in the past 30 years, I have never seen such a reaction from the people. We have been able to turn around an improbability by the constant appeal for peace and maturity exhibited by the people."

Besides, people’s reaction to the verdict has also reiterated that they have learnt to move on.

“The verdict is in everybody’s welfare. We don’t have to worry about the issue anymore. Let us all pray for communal harmony and peaceful living,” observed an aged person at the Juma Masjid on Old Poor House in Shivajinagar.

While most shop owners voluntarily downed shutters and offices remained closed in most of the Cantonment areas, the police had to force a few shopkeepers in JC Nagar, Shivajinagar and other localities to wind up their business. Commercial establishments in J C Nagar downed shutters as early as 1:30 pm, as it is considered as a sensitive area.

The police prevented the traders in Shivajinagar from carrying out their business. “When I went to a petty shop to buy cigarettes, the police asked the trader to shut the shop, even though he wanted to continue with the transaction,”said Asghar Ali Khan, a resident.

Anxiety

Life in the City seemed normal until a little past noon. However, as the day progressed there seemed to be some anxiety in the air in cantonment areas including Shivajinagar, Tannery Road, DJ Halli, KG Halli, Hegade Nagar, Nagawara, Sultan Palya, Kavalbyrasandra, Sultan Palya, RT Nagar, and JC Nagar.

Sparse traffic

Traffic in the City was sparse, as people chose to stay indoors. Even though the frequency of BMTC operated skeletal services and the number of passengers were very few in the buses.

Even the autorickshaws reported meagre business. Just like on any other bundh day, children and sports enthusiasts had a field day on the otherwise busy streets.

Moreover, potential tension in the air was eased with the pitching in of citizen volunteers in the jurisdiction of all police stations.

"We undertook a door-to-door campaign today and appealed for peace and harmony. Although a few individuals were non-committal on maintaining tranquillity and wanted to decide on their strategy depending on the verdict, most people adhered to our appeals,” said Chand Pasha, a volunteer in Shivajinagar.

Sampath Kumar, Corporator, DJ Halli (Ward No 47), heaved  a sigh of relief, as his constituency was no longer a ‘sensitive area.’

Shivajinagar MLA, R Roshan Baig urged all the stakeholders to respect the judgement. Further, urging the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakfs Board not to appeal against the verdict, Baig observed that “we needed to bury the hatchet.”

“By declaring a holiday for schools and colleges, the State government only created a state of tension. When educational institutes in Uttar Pradesh remained open, there was no need for our Chief Minister to announce the holiday,” observed the former minister.

Prohibitory orders won’t affect Gandhi Jayanti

The City police on Thursday clarified that prohibitory orders imposed in view of the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit will not be applicable to Gandhi Jayanti celebrations.

In a press release, the Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said Gandhi Jayanti functions will take place as per schedule.

The police imposed the prohibitory orders from 6 am on September 30 to 12 midnight on October 2.

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