The Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case on Saturday, according to a notification released on the apex court's official website. The apex court is likely to pronounce judgment in the protracted case regarding disputed land in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya at 10:30 am.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, reserved the judgment on 16 October after 40 days of hearings. Gogoi is set to retire on 17 November.
In preparation for the verdict, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday told states to remain alert and ensure security in sensitive areas.
The MHA also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya.
'Not victory or defeat for anyone'
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people that the priority should be to strengthen India's tradition of maintaining peace and harmony after the verdict is pronounced on Saturday.
अयोध्या पर कल सुप्रीम कोर्ट का निर्णय आ रहा है। पिछले कुछ महीनों से सुप्रीम कोर्ट में निरंतर इस विषय पर सुनवाई हो रही थी, पूरा देश उत्सुकता से देख रहा था। इस दौरान समाज के सभी वर्गों की तरफ से सद्भावना का वातावरण बनाए रखने के लिए किए गए प्रयास बहुत सराहनीय हैं।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 8, 2019
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath echoed the prime minister's call for peace and harmony. Adityanath urged the public not to believe rumours and said the administration was "fully committed" to protecting all citizens.
"I appeal to the people of the country to ignore the rumors. The administration is fully committed to protecting everyone and maintaining law and order in the state. If any person tries to play with law and order, strict action will be taken against him," Adityanath said.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also appealed for peace and harmony. "All of us should ensure that our reactions will be peaceful no matter what the verdict be. It should not create any room for hate-mongering. "State police has been directed to be on high alert," Vijayan said.
According to PTI, a general advisory has been sent to all states and union territories asking them to deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country, a home ministry official said.
The ministry has rushed 40 companies of paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the state government in maintaining law and order. A company of paramilitary forces comprises about 100 personnel. The Uttar Pradesh government said that all schools, colleges, training centres, and other educational institutions in Lucknow shall be closed from Saturday till Monday.
CJI met UP chief secretary
Gogoi earlier Friday held a meeting with Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and director general of police and took stock of security arrangements in the state. According to PTI, the meeting was held in the chamber of CJI for around one hour during which Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and DGP Om Prakash Singh apprised him about the security arrangements made to maintain law and order.
'Prepared for any eventuality'
The local administration, too, has taken measures to maintain peace and prevent any untoward incidents ahead of the Supreme Court verdict. In a series of restrictions, District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha last week ordered against the use of social media to "insult" deities or to install idols and hold processions related to Ram Janmabhoomi.
Anuj Jha told Firstpost the state is prepared for any eventuality. He also added that there was no need to panic and that enough security measures have been put in place. He also extended till 28 December the prohibitory order issued on 12 October, mentioning apprehension of breach of peace ahead of the verdict. The prohibitory order was earlier imposed till 10 December. Those violating it would be booked under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience of an order by public servant).
Multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place in the temple town of Ayodhya, ahead of the Supreme Court's verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case on Saturday. The town at the epicentre of the dispute has been turned into a fortress with the deployment of sixty companies (90-125 personnel each) of the PAC and paramilitary forces.
Drones and CCTV cameras were also being used to monitor the situation. Near the Ramjanmabhoomi police station, the "karyashala" of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas or other parts of the town, policemen were checking all vehicles, PTI reported. A heavy deployment of police personnel has been pressed into service in the Nayaghat area in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya. While Nayaghat is close to the disputed area not many restrictions have been imposed currently.
Cops issue warnings
Uttar Pradesh DGP OP Singh issued an advisory against forwarding messages on social media without verifying the veracity of the information first. "One false forward message can spell trouble and unrest in the entire state," Singh said. Authorities were quoted by PTI as saying social media posts will be monitored to ensure that no attempt is made to vitiate the atmosphere by spreading fake or inflammatory content and necessary arrangements have been made to ensure safety and security of religious places.
The Bhopal collector and district magistrate on Friday said that Section 144 has been imposed in the district. All private and government schools, colleges to remain closed tomorrow. News18 also reported that the educational institutes will remain closed in Karnataka as well in view of Ayodhya verdict.
Hyderabad commissioner of police, Anjani Kumar said, "We have taken all necessary measures to keep the situation under control in Hyderabad and to maintain peace and law and order. A special deployment of security forces has been done in the sensitive areas of the city.
"Meanwhile, Section 144, which prohibits the assembly of more than four people in an area, has been imposed in all 10 districts of Jammu.
All private as well as government schools and colleges to remain closed tomorrow. Uttarakhand director general (Law and Order) also said, "Police of all 13 districts have been instructed to keep a close watch on undesirable elements and on sensitive places. Instructions have been issued to maintain strict vigil in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udhamsinghnagar and Nainital. Extra security personnel being deployed."In Karnataka's Bengaluru, alcohol shops will remain closed, ANI reported.
RSS pramukhs to hold 'special meetings'
In anticipation of the Supreme Court's verdict in the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case on Saturday, a senior RSS functionary told Firstpost that all RSS shakha pramukhs have been asked to "ready themselves to hold special meetings" with the saffron body's workers, to explain the nature and significance of the verdict.
The appeal for peace and calm with regards to the verdict has been from leaders across the political spectrum, "given the communal history of the case, there is a fear of a repeat of the situation that prevailed at the time of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya." The Vishwa Hindu Parishad is expected to hold a press conference on the anticipated judgment of the Supreme Court in the politically sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case at 2.30 pm on Saturday, reports said.
The Shiv Sena, in a press note on Friday, said that the Centre must not take credit for the Supreme Court's verdict. Amid a power tussle with the ruling BJP in Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said, "We had requested the government to make a law on the construction of the Ram Temple but the government didn't do that. Now when the Supreme Court is giving the order, the government can't take credit for it."
'No reason to doubt outcome'
In a closed door meeting of prominent Muslim organisations convened by Navaid Hamid, president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the apex body of Indian Muslim organisations, the participants resolved to maintain peace and harmony at all cost after the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya dispute is out.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani expressed hope that the decision of the apex court will go in its favour. The Jamiat is one of the stakeholders in the dispute. Even as the advocates of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and other parties, defending the Babri case, have argued with evidences in the Supreme Court, Madani was optimistic and said there was "no reason to doubt about the outcome."
Testing time for nation'
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, on Friday urged all Indians "to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary". "It is a testing time for the nation. Though passions on both sides are running high, but I would urge the Indian conscience to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary," Bukhari said in a statement. "I hope that the constitutional superiority shall prevail and rule of law is not compromised. It is a testing time for the nation," the statement added. Veteran actor Rajinikanth on Friday appealed to the public to remain calm and respect the judgment by Supreme Court on Ayodhya.
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Updated Date: Nov 09, 2019 07:08:16 IST