Ayodhya event may see a million people as Supreme Court verdict nears – india news


At least one million devotees are likely to descend on Ayodhya for a Hindu religious event next Tuesday around the same time the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, sparking security concerns ahead of the culmination of one of India’s most communally sensitive court cases.

The district administration has deployed additional security forces, clamped prohibitory orders on large gatherings, and is keeping a close watch on social media posts. Top Hindu and Muslim leaders have appealed for calm, and in a meeting at the residence of Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday, urged all sections of society to respect the court’s verdict.

“Unity in diversity is our cultural commitment…now that we have had this meeting, I am sure the nation will accept the verdict with peace and harmony,”Naqvi told the attendees, who included Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) joint secretary Krishna Gopal, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organising secretary Ram Lal, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Mahmood Madani, former MP Shahid Siddiqui and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Farooqui.

Both the BJP and the RSS have asked their leaders and cadre to maintain calm and refrain from either making inflammatory or emotive speeches in the wake of the verdict, which follows a 40-day hearing that concluded on October 16. The verdict is expected before Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17.

BJP and RSS have also been cautioned against large-scale celebrations. Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said the people who attended Tuesday’s meeting agreed that all efforts should be made to ensure no one tries to disrupt peace or vitiate the atmosphere.

A five-judge Constitution bench is considering petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad high court judgment that divided the disputed 2.77 acre plot in Ayodhya between the Nirmohi Akhara, a religious denomination, the Sunni Central Waqf Board and representatives of Ram Lalla, the child deity. Arguments in the case ended on October 16 after 40 days of hearing.

The holy event of Kartik Purnima falls on Tuesday, when devotees will take a dip in the river Sarayu that flows through Ayodhya. Last year, the police said at least 800,000 people visited Ayodhya for the event. It usually takes around 24 hours for the crowds to disperse, but large numbers of devotees stay back for several days in the town, which is seen as holy because it is considered the birthplace of the Hindu warrior-god Ram. “This year I will definitely attend Kartik Purnima mela. Who knows if the court (Supreme Court) delivers {the} verdict around this period in favour of {the} Ram temple,” said Ambuj Kumar, a resident of adjoining Ambedkar Nagar district. “If this happens, then I will get an opportunity to place a shila (brick) at the Ram Mandir site.”

The administration said all arrangements to secure Ayodhya were in place. “We have made elaborate security arrangements for Kartik Purnima. There will be adequate deployment of security personnel across the city, including ghats,” said Anuj Kumar Jha, district magistrate of Ayodhya.

Another senior official admitted that it will be a challenge.“In view of the pending Supreme Court verdict, we are expecting more devotees this year. Due to the much awaited verdict, Ayodhya has become the centre of all activities,” the official said, requesting anonymity. The administration has formed peace committees and enlisted Hindu religious figures to issue appeals to devotees to maintain peace and harmony. Section 144, banning the public assembly of four or more people, is already in place in Ayodhya, but traditional and religious fairs are exempt. Senior state police officials are closely monitoring the accounts of 8,000 people booked for inflammatory and objectionable posts on social media in last five years. “Stern action will be taken against them if they commit the same offence again,” said inspector general (law and order) Praveen Kumar.

Tension has been building in Ayodhya ahead of the verdict and rumours swirled over the past two days of an impending ban on internet services and closure of schools. But Jha on Monday scotched such speculation, warning of action under the National Security Act against those spreading rumours.

“Schools will not be closed even after the arrival of security forces,” Jha said. Ashish Tewari, senior superintendent of police in Ayodhya, also clarified that internet services will not be banned. Hindu groups dismissed apprehensions. “It is not the first time that several lakh devotees will arrive in Ayodhya for Kartik Purnima. This year also, the situation will be the same,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. “There is nothing to worry. We have clear instructions from the top that post –Ayodhya verdict there will no reaction–celebrations or protest,” added Sharma. Experts cautioned that security arrangements needed to be tightened. “Ayodhya is a small town. Even a gathering of 10,000 people is enough to make its presence felt. In such a scenario, the onus will be on Hindu outfits to maintain peace and harmony in the town,” said Kaushal Kishore Mishra, a professor at the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi.


Source link

Best Buy Cyber Monday Deals 2019: Everything You Need to Know

Could the world cope if GPS stopped working?