Ahead of delivering the judgement, in an unprecedented development, India’s Chief Justice has convened a meeting of the top bureaucrats and police officers in northern Uttar Pradesh to ascertain the security situation in the state.
Chief Justice of India to meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Director General of Police & other senior police officials today over preparedness ahead of probable Ayodhya verdict.— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2019
India’s federal Home Ministry has ordered the deployment of 4,000 troops in Ayodhya, and issued a countrywide alert on Thursday (7 November). The alert came a day after Indian Prime Minister appealed for restraint among people of all faiths on the outcome of the case. New Delhi has also kept several helicopters on standby for security-related emergencies.
At the centre of the dispute is a piece of land in the Ayodhya District of northern Uttar Pradesh, 700 miles from New Delhi, claimed by certain Hindu and Muslim organisations. A mosque had existed at the place since 1528, which the Hindus believe was built on the exact birth-spot of Lord Ram.
In 1949, Hindus installed an idol of Ram inside the disputed structure, leading to its seizure by the authorities. In 1989, both sides filed cases in the Allahabad High Court claiming the land, which was the beginning of a long and protracted judicial battle, considered to be the most sensitive since the country gained independence in 1947.
Ahead of the judgement, the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Rajasthan have reviewed the security situation in their respective regions and asked police and intelligence agencies to remain vigilant.
मुख्यमंत्री श्री @myogiadityanath जी ने अपने लखनऊ स्थित सरकारी आवास पर कानून व्यवस्था के संबंध में संबंधित अधिकारियों के साथ वीडियो कांफ्रेसिंग की व प्रदेश की सुरक्षा व्यवस्था हेतु आवश्यक निर्देश दिए। pic.twitter.com/YWFTj171FV— CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) November 7, 2019
Held a meeting to review law and order in State at CMR with senior officials ahead of Ayodhya verdict. Instructed officials to remain vigilant...Our State is known for communal harmony and brotherhood and we will maintain that.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 6, 2019
The district magistrate of Ayodhya has already imposed prohibitory orders and banned all sensitive social media posts on the topic.
In Ayodhya, the centre of the tussle between the two communities, police have deployed drones for surveillance. The police have also carried out flag-marches in communally sensitive Gorakhpur, which is home to State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Flag march by police in Gorakhpur ahead of probable verdict in Ayodhya case. pic.twitter.com/IR1OAfSKbF— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 6, 2019
A Ram Temple at Ayodhya was the springboard, from where the present national ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) emerged as a major political force in India. Lal Krishna Advani, then-president of BJP had taken out a two-month-long Ram Rath Yatra – a chariot rally in 1990 to campaign for erecting a temple on the site. BJP had made Ram Temple a major poll plank in 1991 and came to power in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP in its poll manifesto during the 2014 elections to Lok Sabha, which brought Narendra Modi to power, had promised to “explore all possibilities within the framework of the constitution” for the construction of the temple.