A day after Ayodhya verdict, nearly 90 arrested

NEW DELHI/AYODHYA, Nov 10: Nearly 90 people have been arrested and action taken against over 8,000 social media posts as authorities maintained a tight vigil in the temple town and elsewhere in the country in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict, while Hindu and Muslim religious leaders exhorted people to maintain communal harmony after a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Sunday.
There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the country, officials said, adding Home Minister Amit Shah has telephoned several chief ministers over the last two days to ensure peace in the run-up to and after
the Supreme Court judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.
The security of the five judges, including Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who delivered the verdict on Saturday, has been enhanced with the deployment of additional troops, barricades and mobile escort teams, officials said.
Since Saturday, the Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 77 people, including 40 on Sunday, for allegedly trying to vitiate the atmosphere through social media posts, according to a police statement. Action has been taken against 8,275 posts, including 4,563 posts on Sunday, it said, adding these had been posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In Madhya Pradesh, 10 people were arrested for posting objectionable messages on social media and bursting crackers after the Supreme Court verdict, police said. Gwalior jail warden Mahesh Awad was suspended for bursting crackers in Chhaoni area despite a ban on such post-verdict activities by district authorities.
In Ayodhya, devotees flocked to various temples to offer prayers amid tight security arrangements, especially around the disputed site, though some local Muslim leaders claimed that the traditional processions taken out on Prophet Muhammad’s birth anniversary, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, were cancelled on Sunday as a “precaution” and also due to “sadness” over the verdict.
However, authorities asserted that the processions were taken out, though they might have been scaled down.
The government continued to engage religious and spiritual leaders over the Ayodhya issue as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a meeting with eminent Hindu and Muslim religious leaders who pledged unstinted support to the government in all steps to maintain peace and order, according to officials.
The meeting was scheduled before the announcement of the verdict date, according to some leaders who participated.
“The leaders resolved to honour the decision of the Supreme Court and appealed to all countrymen to abide by it, emphasizing that the national interest overrides all other considerations.
“They extended their full cooperation to the government in ensuring peace, communal harmony and upholding the rule of law,” according to a joint statement issued after the four-hour meeting at Doval’s residence in Delhi. (PTI)