On alert, Ayodhya gears up for the verdict

Last Updated 16 October 2019, 12:00 IST

Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday cancelled leave of the officers associated with law and order and decided to rush additional security forces to Ayodhya as the temple town geared up for the much-awaited judgement in the vexed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Title suits after the supreme court reserved its verdict in the case.

Security arrangements in Ayodhya town were being tightened and an alert had been sounded, according to the official sources here.

''The government has cancelled leave of all the field officials till November 30,'' said a senior official here on Wednesday in an indication that it expected a verdict in the case next month.

Sources said that the government had requisitioned additional forces from the nearby districts of Gorakhpur, Gonda, Barabanki, Basti for being deployed at Ayodhya.

''The forces will start arriving here from Thursday....they will be deployed and around all important religious buildings and public places,'' said a senior official in Ayodhya.

The local administration had already promulgated section 144 in the district. It would in force till December ten, apparently in view of the Babri Mosque demolition anniversary on December six.

Senior officials, including the state chief secretary R.K.Tewari and police chief O.P.Singh, had visited Ayodhya on Tuesday and held meetings with the local officials to discuss the security arrangements.

Sources said that the administration has decided to house the security forces in 200 schools in the town. ''A strict vigil will be maintained on the borders of the district,'' said the official.

Both the Hindu seers and Muslims eagerly awaited the verdict and both parties expressed the hope that it would go in their favour.

''We will abide by the court verdict...every one should do so...the district authorities must make adequate security arrangements so that anti-social elements may not create trouble,'' said Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim plaintiffs in the case.

Mahant Dharm Das of Nirmohi Akhara, which was also among the plaintiffs, said that the Hindus wanted to see a grand temple at the ''birth place'' of Lord Rama.

Senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar asked the Muslim litigants to ''voluntarily'' withdraw their claim over the disputed land in the larger interest of the country.

The day-to-day hearing of the case concluded in the apex court on Wednesday and the verdict was reserved. A verdict was expected before the chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi's retirement on November 17.

(Published 16 October 2019, 12:00 IST)

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