The Supreme Court will pronounce the verdict in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya at 10:30 am on Saturday, according to a notice uploaded on the top court’s official website. The judgment, which is likely to end the decades of uncertainty, will be pronounced by a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer are the other four judges of the Bench. On October 16, the top court had concluded the day-to-day hearing and reserved the judgment. Hours before the announcement, CJI Gogoi held a meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and DGP Om Prakash Singh and took note of the security arrangements.
As many as fourteen appeals have been filed in the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The judgment was challenged in the Supreme Court with both Hindu and Muslim parties claiming the disputed site in full.
Multilayer Security Across UP Ahead Of Verdict
All roads leading to the disputed site have been blocked and prohibitory orders were put in place. Multilayered security arrangements have been made in the temple town of Ayodhya with drones being used to monitor the situation ahead of the Supreme Court verdict. Two helicopters will be on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya as part of the security arrangements for any sort of emergency. A state-level control room will be set up in Lucknow and every district will also have a separate control room. The police are also holding meetings with the members of Hindu and Muslim communities with an appeal to maintain calm. Internet services in Aligarh has been suspended and section 144 has been imposed in Jaipur, Jammu, Bengaluru and other sensitive areas in Uttar Pradesh.
The Central government has also deployed around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Uttar Pradesh where the disputed site is located and Railway police in the state has cancelled leave of its forces. They have also stepped up vigil at 78 major stations and on trains as part of its security preparedness in anticipation of any untoward incident. The Home Minister has also sent a general advisory to all the states and Union Territories (UTs) and asked them to make adequate security arrangments in their respective states.
Clerics, Priests Urge People To Maintain Calm
Given the sensitivity of the matter, clerics and priests have appealed people of their respective communities to honour the Supreme Court verdict and maintain peace. "We should all respect the judgment. We should exercise restraint and not hurt religious sentiments of any community," Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, Imam of the Lucknow Eidgah, said.
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, also urged people to "to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary". The Shahi Imam said, "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."
Schools And Colleges In UP To Remain Shut For 3 Days
In anticipation of any untoward incident, the Uttar Pradesh government has decalred holiday for all the educational institutions for the next three days. All schools, colleges and training centres in the state will remain shut till November 11.