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    Chief Justice of India Calls Top Officials in Uttar Pradesh Ahead of Key Verdict in Ayodhya Case

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's Supreme Court is expected to deliver an historic judgement on a fiercely contested land dispute case in Ayodhya, northern Uttar Pradesh. The communally sensitive case had raised passions in India in 1992, when religious zealots razed a mosque on the land, triggering riots in the country, killing around 2,000 people..

    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.

    ​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.

    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.

    ​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.

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