Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh was calm on Friday, the 27th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque, PTI reported. Commercial establishments functioned normally while school children and others, including pilgrims, had a regular day.
Hindu as well as Muslim leaders downplayed the day and did not hold any protests or programmes. In the past, Hindutva organisations celebrated the day as “shaurya diwas”, while Muslims observed it as “shahadat diwas”.
Police personnel had increased security, including imposing curfew, in the city on Friday, anticipating law-and-order problems as this is the first anniversary since the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya case. The top court had on November 9 ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be assigned to a trust, which will oversee the construction of a Ram temple there. The court also ruled that the Sunni Waqf Board be allotted five acres of land at an alternative plot in Ayodhya to compensate for the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992.
Raju Das, the senior priest of Hanumangarhi temple said the day will now be observed as one of amity. “The temple is witnessing a regular flow of devotees. It is a normal day for us and the city,” he said. “We are observing this day as ‘sauhaard diwas’ [day of amity]. In the evening, earthen lamps will be lit in Hanumangarhi.”
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, had urged Hindutva organisations to not celebrate the day, while Muslim organisations also did not hold any event, according to the Hindustan Times. Muslims had gathered at the Jama Masjid in Ayodhya for special prayers.
District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha and Senior Superintendent of Police Ashish Tiwari toured various parts of the city on Friday. “All parties who had organised programmes on the occasion felt the importance of sending a message of amity,” Jha said. “Most of them cancelled their programmes.”
“Deployment has been done in such a manner that the security apparatus is robust without any problem to the common man,” Tiwari said. “The force is already undertaking foot march and drones are being used to keep an eye on various developments.”