Calm and peace in Ayodhya after the verdict
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Last Updated: Friday, October 01, 2010, 18:05
Ayodhya: Calm and peace prevailed as worshippers made their way to the makeshift temple in Ayodhya, a day after the landmark judgement of the Allahabad High Court which ruled that the portion on which it exists belong to Hindus.

The tension, which one could see in the the temple town in the last few days, may have vanished after the verdict given by the Lucknow bench of the court, but not the security arrangements as CRPF men stand guard the route all the way through 24 hours.

The makeshift-temple housing the 'Ram Lalla' (baby Lord Ram) was the idol installed in the Babri Masjid in 1949 under the central-dome of the now now demolished structure.

A temporary structure came up in place after the demolition in 1992. It has multiple layers of security to prevent any mischief and under a 1994 Supreme Court order status quo prevails in the area.

The number of devout visiting the temporary shrine under a water and fire-proof canopy has not not picked up much but as one moves towards the makeshift temple site from Hanumanghari, business on both sides of the road is going on as usual.

People buying religious artefacts through makeshift shops are limited but the sound of audio and video CDs playing bhajans based on popular Hindi song tunes echoes allaround.

Usuallly 9,000 to 10,000 are said to visit the temple every month but the numbers had dipped in September ahead of the delivery of the verdict.

At the main barricading from where the actual movement towards the makeshift temple starts, one is required to deposit all his belongings in order to proceed further. One is allowed to move ahead only after being checked throughly.

A person is frisked for the first time at the main entrance from where another around 500 metre spiral passage begins towards the makeshift temple with CRPF men watching from the towers. and otherwise.

This journey passes through huge iron structures in order to prevent any person to stray in other parts of the site.

After three-point frisking the devotees reach the temple, which is located on a mound, where a part of the demolished structure stood.

No one can is allowed too close to the makeshift temple, where darshan is allowed only from a distance of 10-15 metres that too under the close vigil of CRPF men.

"The number of devotees has gone down," says assistant priest Pradeep Das, in a short interaction before being asked to move ahead by the guards.

The temple has idols of Lord Rama, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan, besides a Shivling on the right and an idol of Lord Hanuman on the extreme left. These were set up here on December 23, 1949, says head priest Acharya Satyendra Das.

However, there has been brisk activity at the temple ever since the morning after the verdict.

"More than 1,700 devotees paid obeisance to Ram lala in the first shift today which is slightly higher as compared to yesterday," assistant Das said.

"There had never been a single day when devotees have not visited the temple," he added.

The temple has a staff of nine which include four assistant priest and a similar number of employees to take care of Ram lala and his brothers.

"We get Rs 15,000 every month for maintenance and offering bhog five times to Ramlala every day," Das said adding that he had requested to increase the amount.

"I have written to the receiver to increase the monthly amount," he said.

Though the turnout of devotees is not not huge as compared to normal days people are coming in good numbers with uncertainty over the verdict having vanished, says Mohd Shareef, who runs a shop on the road leading to the temple.

"Situation is totally normal. but there will be no no let up in the security," Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police R K S Rahtore said.

He said that security arrangements, which include heavy deployment of central forces in the areas near the makeshift temple would remain in place for the next few days.

People said there were some apprehensions that there could be a threat to law and order but no no trouble was reported from any part of the city.

"To an extent the credit goes to the people of Ayodhya, who made all attempts to ensure that peace prevails," Dean, Faculty of Arts, Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University, Prof. S C Tiwari said.

And this is evident from the posters and pamphlets pasted even on vehicles in the town requesting people of all the communities to maintain peace and unity.

"Each and every person wants peace after going through the turmoil for 18 long yuars. Harmony is a must," says Mahendra Pathak, a Reader at Saket Degree College in Ayodhya.


First Published: Friday, October 01, 2010, 18:05

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