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
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
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
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
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