- A five-judge constitution bench will deliver the verdict
- Massive security arrangements put in place ahead of the verdict
- At least 12,000 security personnel have been posted in Uttar Pradesh
Here are the top 10 highlights of the Ayodhya Case:
The landmark verdict will be delivered at 10:30 am. There was no clarity on the date until Friday evening, other than the fact that the judgment would be delivered before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi's retirement on November 17.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved the judgement on October 16 after a marathon hearing of 40 days. The other members of the bench are Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
Earlier on Friday, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had met top Uttar Pradesh officials to discuss law-and-order arrangements in this regard. At least 12,000 security personnel have been posted in Uttar Pradesh, where Ayodhya is situated, to ensure that no violence breaks out.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has also ordered the closure of all schools, colleges, educational institutions and training centres in the state from today to Monday. Similar orders have been issued in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu. Delhi and Rajasthan too.
In a series of tweets in Hindi on Friday, the Prime Minister said that the "Ayodhya verdict will not be anybody's victory or loss", adding that it was the priority of the country's citizens to maintain harmony. "I appeal to countrymen that it should be our priority to strengthen our tradition of maintaining peace and harmony after Ayodhya verdict. In the run up to Ayodhya verdict, efforts have been made by various people and organisations to maintain harmonious atmosphere. We have to maintain amity even after Ayodhya verdict," PM Modi said in another tweet.
The government has increased the security provided to the five judges ahead of the Ayodhya verdict. Two helicopters have been kept on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya to tackle any possible emergency. Security arrangements in Delhi have also been tightened.
The dispute over 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya, claimed by both Hindus and Muslims, has dominated political discourse since the 1980s. While Hindu activists want to build a temple on the site, Muslim groups claim there is no proof that a temple existed there.
In 1992, rightwing activists tore down the 16th century Babri mosque which they believed was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of the Lord Ram. In the riots that followed, more than 2,000 people were killed.
An Allahabad High Court verdict prescribing a three-way division of the disputed land in September 2010 failed to satisfy the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the parties involved in the dispute. All three moved the Supreme Court.
In an effort to ensure that violence doesn't break out after the verdict, senior RSS and BJP leaders had held a meeting with prominent Muslim clerics and intellectuals recently. They decided that nobody should indulge in hysterics irrespective of which way the judgment goes.
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