The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday issued a notice prohibiting all police officials in the state from taking leave from November 1 until further notice, The Times of India reported. The decision was taken due to the upcoming Ayodhya verdict, which is expected this month, as well as the Milad-ul-Nabi and Guru Nanak Jayanti festivals.

“In light of major festivals in November – Milad-ul-Nabi and Guru Nanak Jayanti – and the expected Ayodhya verdict, keeping in mind communal harmony and law and order, all police officials are prohibited from taking leave from November 1, until further notice,” the Congress-led state government’s circular read. Those needing limited leave in unavoidable circumstances can do so with permission from higher authorities.

While Milad-ul-Nabi falls on November 9 and 10, Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on November 12.

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserved its judgment on October 16 after a marathon 40-day hearing. The top court had allowed all parties to the case to make the rest of the submissions in writing. The verdict is expected before Chief Justice Gogoi retires on November 17.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has long demanded the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, where the Babri Masjid stood until it was razed to the ground in December 1992.

In anticipation of the judgement, restrictive orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which bans the assembly of more than four people, were imposed in Ayodhya earlier this month. They will be in place till December 10. The Uttar Pradesh government has cancelled the holidays of all field officers in the state’s 75 districts till November 30.’s coverage of the Ayodhya dispute can be followed here and here.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.