New Delhi / Lucknow:
Sixty years after it first went to court, there shall be a verdict in the Ayodhya title suit soon. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justice S U Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D V Sharma, have started proceedings to pronounce the judgement.
The litigants have reached Court No. 21 of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. Barricades have been erected about 100 metres from the courtroom and no one other than those connected with the case are being allowed anywhere near the it. (Watch
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The verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute will decide whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
It has been a protracted legal battle, and people across the country have spoken in one voice on the need to maintain peace and harmony irrespective of the verdict.The Ayodhya dispute at a glance; (Watch
- The background to the Ayodhya dispute)
- The verdict to be delivered in Lucknow today considers a dispute over 2.7 acres of land in Ayodhya.
- The dispute was first taken to court 60 years ago
- There are four title suits that ask the court to decide on:
- ownership of the land
- whether there was a temple at the site before 1538
- did the idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman exist inside the mosque, or were the idols placed inside on 22 December, 1949?
There was communal tension when an idol of Lord Ram was found inside in December 1949, and the government confiscated the site. That is when the lawsuits began.
- The Ramjanmabhoomi Trust holds that this land is the birthplace
of Lord Ram
- The Waqf Board holds that the land was
site of the 16th century Babri mosque
- In December
1992, thousands of kar sevaks, led by BJP and RSS leaders,
demolished the Babri Masjid.
The litigants involved with the four suits being considered today are the following. All these cases were originally filed in the court of the Civil Judge, Faizabad, and are now before the High Court. (Ayodhya
verdict: Legal issues at stake)
- Gopal Singh Visharad - case filed on January 16, 1950. Gopal Singh Visharad has since died and his son Rajendra Singh is now the litigant.
- That Hindu's be entitled to go to visit the dispute site and worship the idols there without any checks or obstructions.
- Prohibitory orders must be issued preventing anyone from removing the idols and closing the doors of the masjid.
- Nirmohi Akhada - case filed on December 17, 1959. The case was filed by the Akhada through Mahant Ragunath Das, who is now dead.
- To give the management of the disputed site to the descendents of Mahant Ragunath Das, the Mahant of the Nirmohi Akhada.
- Sunni Central Board of Waqfs, UP - case filed on December 18, 1961 by the Central Board of Waqfs, UP, through secretary and nine others.
- That the disputed site must be declared as a mosque and the area adjoining as a Muslim graveyard.
- That possession be given to the central board of waqfs.
- On behalf of deity Lord Ram and Deoki Nandan Agarwal - case filed on July 1, 1989. Deoki Nandan Agarwal is a senior advocate and a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court.
- That the disputed structure belongs to the deity Lord Ram.
- Injunction against the Waqf board preventing them from interfering in the building of the temple.
- Demolishing the existing structure of the Babri Masjid. (This was filed before the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992)
Across the country, it has been life as usual today, including in Faizabad and Ayodhya, where schools and colleges are also open.
The Centre and the state governments, however, are taking no chances and so security has been tightened in sensitive areas and forces have been mobilised. All political parties and religious groups associated with the dispute have said they will respect the verdict.
There is strict vigil in Faizabad. More than 20,000 securitymen are on alert and there is arrangement for aerial surveys. (Watch: Life in Lucknow, Faizabad normal)
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- 1,90,000 security personnel in Uttar Pradesh
- 19 places have been identified as "sensitive."
- Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have been identified as trouble-prone.
- Central forces would be 10 minutes away and on call with extensive deployment near sensitive spots.
- India Air Force aircraft would be on standby to transport troops to eight places across the country.
- Ban on bulk SMSes continues.
- No pillion riders and parking not allowed near restricted sites in Delhi, Hyderabad.
(With PTI inputs)