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Ayodhya dispute: Section 144 imposed

After coming to the final stage of hearing on Monday in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, the Uttar Pradesh administration has implemented Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) in Ayodhya for pre-proliferation of violence.

Although the Supreme Court resumed its proceedings on Monday on the 38th day, just four days before the court completes its arguments, strict security arrangements have been made, prohibiting the mobilization of four or more persons in the area. Ayodhya district till 10 December.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will complete its arguments by this week. The announcement of the deadline for the completion of the hearing is important as the Chief Justice is retiring on 17 November. So the panel will get a month’s time to draft the verdict and deliver the verdict, once the debate ends on 17 October.

The day-to-day hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case began in the Supreme Court on 6 August, in which attempts for mutual redress in arbitration failed.

The arbitration panel was set up by the Supreme Court on 8 March. F.M. Ibrahim Kalifullah was the chairman of the three-member arbitration panel. Two other members on the panel were spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. The court had directed that the proceedings be taken in Faizabad, a town adjoining Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said that section 144 has been implemented till December 10 before anticipating the verdict on the disputed land in Ayodhya.

He also said that the decision to impose Section 144 was also taken in view of the upcoming festivals.

This comes due to Ayodhya seer and VHP leaders seeking permission to light a lamp in the Ram temple.

However, petitioner Haji Mahmood said that if he gets permission to celebrate Diwali on the disputed land, he will also ask for permission to offer namaz there.

Earlier in October, Pali’s BJP MLA, Rajasthan Gyanchand Parikh announced that the Ram temple would be built in Ayodhya before 17 November – the day the Supreme Court would pronounce its verdict in the case.

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