People in Ayodhya want early disposal of the case

"Though the traffic on the roads is looking almost normal and the markets have opened, the uncertainty in the air is continuing and for the people here it would have been better had the verdict been pronounced today itself," Dr Anil Singh, a professor at Saket Degree College here, said.

"Though there was no tension between members of different communities, life has been at a standstill for the people here with massive presence of security forces which have been housed in the local schools and colleges, affecting academics," Singh said.

Both the communities want an early disposal of the 60-year-old case, whichever way the decision would have gone, so that normalcy here is restored at the earliest, Singh said, adding that everyone had mentally prepared themselves for the verdict.

The economy of Ayodhya and Faizabad is based on the inflow of devotees, specially from the adjoining areas, which has been adversely hit because of the expected verdict and it is likely to continue for another week at least, he said.

Airing similar views, Raj Kishore Maurya, who runs a shop near the "naya ghat" in Ayodhya, said that small businessmen like those selling flowers, diyas and other such things on the ghats, are the worst hit with flow of pilgrims in the twin towns trickling.

"The pitra paksha (devoted to ancestors) have started from today but there is total absence of devotees who used to come here for pind daan," Maurya said.

"In the previous years, thousands of pilgrims used to come here to perform the ritual on the ghats, Maurya said, adding the usual crowd on the occasion of Bhadon Purnima yesterday was also missing.

People want an early disposal to the case, he said. On the presence of security personnel on the roads, Maurya said that they were a disciplined lot not disturbing anyone but the mere presence, specially in such a large numbers, is intimidating.

"Flag march and checkings add to the hanging uncertainity as if some major disaster is waiting to happen though the people here have no problem with each other," Maurya said.

Government appointed head pujari of the makeshift Ram Janmbhoomi temple, Acharya Satendra Das said that as the people in the rural areas have yet to know of the stay on the court verdict, the flow of devotees in the temple has been very low today.

"It is likely to continue like this for another week," Satyendra Das said, adding that the temples, which bank heavily on the offerings made by the pilgrims for their finances, might face problems if this is continued for long.

Despite the stay for a week, there had been no let up in the security arrangements and the personnel continue to maintain vigil.

The SSP R K S Rathore said that security arrangements would continue as before.

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