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SC to pronounce Ayodhya verdict today amid tight security in UP, other states; schools closed

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved the judgement on October 16, after 40 days of daily hearing on the matter, which began on August 6.

SNS | New Delhi |

The 134-year-old politically-sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya is likely to be put to rest finally today as the Supreme Court will give the much-awaited verdict on the title suit.

The notice on the judgment was uploaded on the website of the court late evening on Friday.

A five judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Chief Justice-designate Justice SA Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice SA Nazeer, had reserved the judgement on October 16, after 40 days of daily hearing on the matter, which began on August 6.

Earlier on Friday, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had, in an unprecedented step, held a highly confidential meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP), to apparently take stock of the law and order situation.

As per reports, three judges from the five-member Ayodhya bench – Chief Justice Gogoi, Chief Justice-designate SA Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan attended the meeting with the Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and the DGP.

It was expected that the verdict in the controversial land dispute case would be given before CJI Ranjan Gogoi leaves office on November 17.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nrendra Modi, chief ministers of various states and leaders across the political spectrum have appealed to the citizens to maintain harmony and respect the Supreme Court’s order.

Besides, security has been beefed up in Uttar Pradesh and other states. Section 144 (gathering of more than four people banned) has been imposed in the whole of UP.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday issued an appeal asking people not to see the final Ayodhya verdict by the Supreme Court as a victory or defeat. Meanwhile, the state government has closed all schools, colleges, educational institutions and training centres from November 9 to 11 in view of the verdict.

Also, schools in other states including Karnataka, Jammu, Madhya Pradesh will remain closed today as a precautionary measure.

The Centre has asked all states to remain alert ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute and ensure security in sensitive areas.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya.

A general advisory has been sent to all states and Union territories asking them to deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country.

The daily hearing on the matter commenced on August 6 and ended on October 16 amidst high drama by the concerned parties in the Supreme Court.

The court began the daily hearing after the court-appointed mediation panel headed by former Supreme Court Justice FMI Kalifulla and comprising spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar along with senior advocate Sriram Panchu, failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable solution.

The Allahabad High Court in 2010 through a judgement equally partitioned the dispute 2.77 acre land between – Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board. A total of 14 appeals were filed in the apex court in four civil suits.