New Delhi: As the Supreme Court started final hearings in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri masjid case, the Faizabad district authorities have banned public gatherings in Ayodhya town, where the disputed site is. The Faizabad district magistrate, Anuj Kumar Jha, said restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in the town and gathering of four or more people at public places has been banned from Saturday onwards and it will continue until December 10 in view of the festival season.
In its two-page order, the authorities have also banned the flying of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles during this period.
The five-judge Supreme Court Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is expected to deliver its verdict this week on the long-running land dispute – a verdict that will decide if a Ram temple can be built on the site where one of Mughal emperor Babar’s military commanders, Baqi Tashqandi, also known as Mir Baqi or Mir Banki, erected a mosque in the 16th century (AD 1528-29). Hindus believe that Lord Ram was born on the site and a temple existed on the site before Baqi Tashqandi demolished it and erected a mosque there.
On December 6, 1992, Hindu religious workers, known as “kar sevaks”, demolished the mosque triggering communal riots across the country, which led to the death of at least 2,000 people.
The Allahabad high court, in 2010, delivered its judgment, in four civil suites, in the land dispute dividing 2.77-acre of the disputed land in three parts: two parts to two Hindu parties – Nirmohi Akhada and Ram Lalla Virajman (Infant Lord Ram represented a group of lawyers) – and one part to the Muslim party – Sunni Waqf Board. Unhappy with the verdict, all parties moved the Supreme Court. Fourteen appeals had been filed against the verdict in the apex court in this matter.
The Supreme Court urged for mediation between the disputing parties to arrive at an out-of-court settlement in the case. However, when the negotiations failed, the CJI-led bench started a day-to-day hearing of the case from August 6.