AYODHYA: A day before the judgment in the 28-year-old Babri Masjid demolition case, Ayodhya remained stoic, sedate and silent as residents sauntered through their cho-res unhindered by barricades or thud of boots of marching securitymen unlike its date with Supreme Court’s verdict 11 months ago, when the town was garrisoned. In contrast, the focus shifted to the CBI court in Lucknow, 135km away, which has been fortified.
Speaking to TOI, DIG, Ayodhya, Deepak Kumar, said, “Ayodhya is a biggest example of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood in India and we don’t need additional security arrangements for D-Day.”
Local residents, however, preferred to keep their fingers crossed and hoped the verdict would bring a closure to the decades-old dispute and hold aloft the spirit of brotherhood.
Mahant Yugal Kishore Saran Shastri, priest of Saryu Kunj temple, who was 40 years old when the mosque was razed, said, “No doubt, it was a black day that triggered riots across the country, but our concern is that harmony must be maintained, whatever by the judgment.”

The day passed without a flutter in Muslim pockets with residents restless, but reticent. Mohammad Umar, a key litigant in the title suit, sells puja ite-ms in his small shop near Hanumangarhi temple. “We are living in peace in and we don’t want the verdict to create ripples here. Many accused have died and others are in the twilight of their lives. We’ll take the judgment in our stride.”
Another plaintiff, Iqbal Ansari, said, “There should be no dispute over places of worship anywhere in India and both communities sho-uld live in peace and join hands for welfare of society.”
There was an eerie calm at Maniram Chawni temple, the high seat of Mahant Nitya Gopal Das, president of Ram Mandir Trust and an accused in the case. While he refused to talk to the media, temple sources said that he would not be present at the CBI court on health grounds.
Ram Narayan Das, an elderly sadhu, preferred to repose faith in Lord Ram. “Ram ji sab theek karenge, sab ka bhala karenge, dhancha giraya gaya tha tab pura desh ashant ho gaya tha, magar ab shanti rahni chahiye. Sabhi dharm ke log jiye aur khayen (Lord Ram will make everything right and bless every one. When the structure was demolished, there was violence. Now, peace must prevail. Let people of all religions live in amity).”
Saurabh Vikram Singh, a GenNext youth, who was born after the Babri demolition, said, “Yes we are waiting eagerly for the judgment for 28 years, but it must not be construed as a victory or defeat of any community. Harmony should be the catchword.”


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