Locals give 'dharam sabha' a miss

Locals give 'dharam sabha' a miss

But for the presence of rifle-wielding security personnel, police vehicles blaring sirens and the barricades, it was life as usual in Faizabad town (Ayodhya), barely a few kilometres away from here, giving little indication that there was a 'dharam sabha' at some distance, which was being attended by thousands of 'Rambhakts' for Ram temple construction.

The local participation was not much visible in the 'dharam sabha' here on Sunday. Almost all the participants were from outside Faizabad and Ayodhya.

Even BJP leaders admitted that local people were not among the crowd at the 'dharm sabha' and blamed the strict security arrangements in the town for it.

"There was an undeclared curfew in Ayodhya... people could not come out of their homes," senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, who was a resident of the temple town, said.

The residents of Ayodhya said that they had seen many such events and had now concluded that they were all "political."   

"It is a political event... no one is sincere about Ram temple construction," said Rakesh Gupta, who sold 'prasad' near Hanumangarhi Temple in Ayodhya. Gupta had taken part in the Ram temple movement in the 1990s.

Ram Kumar Yadav, another resident of the town, also echoes similar sentiments. "Such events are threat to peace... they should not be allowed," he told DH.

Perhaps, the locals had kept distance from the meeting, knowing that nothing concrete would come out of it.