An uneasy calm in Ayodhya

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Some Muslim families leave temple town ahead of VHP meet.

The congregation of right-wing activists in Ayodhya for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s mega event to push for the construction of a Ram temple has triggered painful memories of the 1992 tragedy among many residents, with a few Muslim families temporarily leaving the town fearing for their safety.

Some Muslim families had left the pilgrim town for good after the large-scale violence that had erupted here with the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Mosque 26 years ago on December 6, and now many others have temporarily left their homes, say local residents.

Despite high security deployment in Ayodhya and the twin town of Faizabad, many families from minority communities have decided to move out, feeling uncomfortable amid the “din and provocative speeches” surrounding the VHP’s ‘Dharma Sabha’ that is being touted as the largest congregation of “Ram bhakts” in Ayodhya since the 1992 ‘kar seva’, they said.

An uneasy calm prevailed in Muslim-dominated areas such as Dharam Kanta, Qaziana and Katra.

“I live here and, many of my Muslim neighbours, who were here till a few days ago, have now left, either to their relatives’ places nearby or temporarily shifted out of Ayodhya,” Nisha said, pointing to a locked house in her neighbourhood in the heart of the city.

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