Ayodhya Verdict LATEST Updates:  The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Saturday its verdict in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

The apex court is likely to pronounce judgement at 10.30 am in the morning.

A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had reserved the judgement on 16 October after marathon hearing of 40 days.

As the security preparedness has been ramped up in Ayodhya before the ruling on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case is pronounced, all roads leading to the temple have been completely blocked by the state administration. After intensive monitoring, the administration is permitting entry only by foot.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, on Friday urged all Indians “to exercise restraint and demonstrate faith in the judiciary” ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case.

“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.

In anticipation of the Supreme Court verdict, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu right-wing organisation who has been at the forefront of the movement demanding the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site, has stopped stone carving work for the construction of the ‘grand temple’ in Ayodhya for the first time since 1990.

“All the artisans involved in the work have returned to their homes,” said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma.

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.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari reached the Supreme Court on Friday along with other top officials to meet CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The meeting was called upon to ascertain the security preparedness on ground for after the momentous ruling on Ayodha land dispute is out.

As the final verdict by the Supreme Court on the contentious Ayodhya land dispute draws near, the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has called upon Uttar Pradesh chief secretary, the Director General of Police (DGP) and other top officials to ascertain the security preparedness on ground for after the momentous ruling is out.

The decision is expected to be delivered before Gogoi vacates the chair on 17 November. The tentative date for the verdict is 15 November, reported CNN-News18.

“The office of CJI Ranjan Gogoi has summoned the offices of the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, DGP a day ago and the meeting is expected to take place at 12 pm (a tentative time of the meeting) to ensure law and order stays intact in the state and assess the readiness of the state government in meeting all situations once the verdict is out,” said Legal editor Utkarsh Aanand, speaking to News18.

Meanwhile, the situation in Ayodhya remains on knife’s edge with prohibitory order in place till 28 December. Any sort of “victory celebrations” or “mourning processions” have also been banned.

On Thursday, the central government rushed around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to the state, where the nation’s longest pending dispute is about to be settled. The Railway police cancelled leave of its force and stepped up vigil at 78 major stations and on trains as part of its security preparedness.

Livemint quoted Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh as saying, “All precautions are being taken. We are going to ensure timely response of law and order at any cost. All field officers have also been sensitized and we are in regular touch with all communities on the ground to ensure that no untoward episode occurs.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also sent a general advisory to all the states and Union territories ordering deployment of adequate security personnel at all sensitive places.

With the verdict predicted to be announced anytime in next week, political leaders made fresh calls to people not to indulge in making provocative remarks or spreading rumours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday discussed the Ayodhya issue with his council of ministers and asked them to refrain from making unnecessary statements on the subject and maintain harmony in the country.

A top leader in the ruling dispensation, on the condition of anonymity, told Firstpost that even if the judgment is in favour of the Hindu parties, the government will need to intervene and bring in a legislation. The objective of this legislation will be to bring clarity on which entity will construct and manage the Ram temple, and who will take possession of the 67 acres of land that are not disputed but are in the possession of the Centre.

An MHA official in Delhi said the ministry has rushed 40 companies of paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the state government in maintaining law and order, particularly in Ayodhya. A company of paramilitary forces comprises about 100 personnel.

Ayodhya is also expected to see a heavy rush of pilgrims next week over Kartik Purnima as the local administration gears up to ensure calm. Lakhs of devotees are expected to gather in the pilgrim town on 12 November for Kartik Purnima Snan.

The railway police issued a seven-page advisory to all its zones giving them a slew of instructions on security preparedness, sources said.

The advisory from the Railway Protection Force(RPF) said leaves of all its personnel have been cancelled and they have been instructed to be engaged in escorting trains.
The advisory, which covers aspects like security at platforms, railway stations, yard, parking space, bridges and tunnels as well as production units and workshops, has earmarked all potential hot-spots which could either be a site for any violence or could be used to hide explosives.

The RPF advisory said a close watch should be kept on all religious structures near railway stations or within its premises as they may become “flash points” in case tempers run high. It has also instructed caretakers of such structures not to leave them unguarded.

It has identified around 78 major stations with high footfall including stations in Mumbai, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh where the presence of RPF personnel have been increased.

The advisory also rescinded an earlier order which allowed stations to keep their lighting to around 30 percent to save electricity when there is no train at the station, instructing all zones to keep lighting at 100 percent at all times instead.

The advisory has also issued strict operational guidelines to be followed in case a mob is sighted in railway premises – presence of quick response teams, sealing of entry and exit points and use of CCTV cameras monitored by skilled personnel – to maximise security of railway premises.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP), meanwhile, has stopped stone carving work for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya for the first time since 1990.

“All the artisans involved in the work have returned to their homes,” said VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma.

He said the decision to stop the carving was taken by top leaders of the VHP, a Hindu right-wing organization that has been at the forefront of the movement demanding the construction of a ‘grand temple’ dedicated to Lord Ram at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid.

With inputs from PTI

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Published Date: Nov 08, 2019 21:32 PM | Updated Date: Nov 08, 2019 21:36 PM

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Updated Date: Nov 08, 2019 21:36:25 IST