A day after the historic verdict by the Supreme Court in the vexed Ayodhya dispute, the temple town woke up to a lazy yet sunny Sunday.
The citizens of the historic town, which has a mixed Hindu and Muslim population, showed remarkable resilience and communal bonhomie in the face of the long delayed verdict.
Sunday being a holiday for government and most private offices, the streets of Ayodhya witnessed little traffic movement. Shops were open in almost all the areas, including minority dominated localities, such as Gudri Bazaar Chauraha, Fatehganj, Sahabganj and Bazaza.
Roadside tea stalls in busy intersections of the town were buzzing with activity as usual. People from all walks of life and ages were seen discussing the verdict and its possible impact on Ayodhya in the times to come.
At the same time, the tolling of the bells in temples and the call of ‘azaan’ from the mosques completed the picture of communal harmony in Ayodhya.
Since, the town had been cordoned off on Friday, when it was known that the SC would deliver its verdict at 10:30 am on Saturday, some of the restrictions still continue as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, the cops deployed at check posts expressed happiness at the peaceful conduct of locals even as they were visibly fatigued.
The administration has not lowered its guard completely as Muslims are observing Milad-Un-Nabi today. The other reason being the Kartik Purnima festival on Tuesday, for which devotees have already started arriving in Ayodhya. On that day, the ghats would be brimming with pilgrims arriving to take the holy dip in Saryu, which is one of the tributaries of the Ganga.
Ghats in Ayodhya, which were lying deserted till yesterday owing to strict checking and restriction on movements, are slowly coming back to life.
Around 60 companies of police, PAC and other paramilitary forces had been deployed in Ayodhya, apart from anti terrorist squad and other specialised quick response wings. Besides, two helicopters were kept on a standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya for any exigency.
On Friday night, the Yogi Adityanath government had declared a holiday across educational institutions in UP for three days starting Saturday as a precautionary measure.
In its landmark judgement, the SC paved way for the construction of Lord Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, while directing the Centre to provide 5 acres land to UP Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.