Ayodhya Dispute Case: Does the tortuous journey end now?

Though the long running Ram Janmbhumi-Babri Mosque case might have entered its last leg with the verdict in the case coming out on November 9, 2019, there are worries that the pronouncement of the verdict may not alleviate, but might even escalate tension that is already palpable.


The case was heard over 40 days by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chnadrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer. The bench had reserved its verdict for October 16, just before the end of term of the CJI.

The following notice published late on Friday evening put to rest all speculation when the verdict was listed delivery.

Daily hearings were necessitated after mediation between the parties failed. The parties to the case are the Nimrohi Akhada, the UP Central Sunni Wakf Board and the infant deity Ram Lalla through next friend Deoki Nandan Agarwal. The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 split the disputed 2.77 acre site among the three parties. But this was not acceptable to the parties and they moved Supreme Court. It is noteworthy that the dispute has been brewing since way before the demolition of the Babri Mosque in December 1992. A brief timeline of the case may be viewed here.

Heavy bandobast across UP

Given the bloody history of the dispute, there are fears of communal clashes. The Adityanath administration had already been gearing up for a possible outbreak of violence and deployed security forces across the state, particularly in and around Ayodhya, where the disputed site is located. 60 companies of PAC and para military forces have been pressed into service. Barricades have been put up at the location of the makeshift temple. The Center has also allocated over 4000 paramilitary personnel to Uttar Pradesh and leaves of Railway Police personnel have been cancelled.

All schools have been shut in the state till Monday and prohibitory orders have been issued till December 28. What’s more, realizing the potential of social media in causing and escalating communal violence, authorities are also monitoring various social networks. In fact, District Magistrate BN Singh issued a formal statement saying that offenders would not only be arrested, but also prosecuted under provisions of the Gangsters Act and National Security Act (NSA).

Infact when journalist Rana Ayyub tweeted about the verdict, the Amethi Police tweeted back with a warning. Ayyub’s tweet said, “Tomorrow is a big day for India. The Babri Masjid, a monument of faith for Indian muslims was demolished on 6th Dec 1992 by those in power today. It changed my life and a generation of Muslims who were ‘othered’ overnight. I hope my country does not disappoint me tomorrow.”

To this the Amethi police’s verified twitter account responded saying, “you have just made a political comment. delete it immediately, otherwise legal action will be taken against you by @amethipolice

This tweeted response drew attention for what many people view as muzzling of free speech.

Meanwhile, CJI Gogoi held meetings with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh to take stock of security arrangements on Friday morning.

Security beefed up across India

On Thursday an advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs asked states to make adequate security arrangements. Security has been stepped up in the national capital and the Delhi Police are on high alert. Railway Police are also maintaining vigil at close to 80 railway stations for possible outbreak of violence. In Mumbai, police were seen checking vehicles at checkpoints late on Friday night.

Both, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Adityanath have tweeted appealing to people to maintain peace after the verdict.

Modi’s tweet in Hindi said, “Whatever the decision of the Supreme Court  on Ayodhya, it will not be a victory or defeat for anyone. I appeal to all countrymen that it should be the priority of all of us that this decision should further strengthen the great tradition of peace, unity and goodwill of India.”


UP CM Adityanath tweeted saying, “I appeal to people in the state to disregard rumours. The administration is committed to maintaining law and order. Anyone who dares to toy with the security arrangements will be dealt with strictly.”





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