Tight social media surveillance and across-the-board appeals to regard the verdict with equanimity appear to have had a salutary effect
The State remained incident-free on Saturday as the implications of the Supreme Court decision to allow the construction of a temple at the disputed Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi site at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh sank in.
Tight social media surveillance and across-the-board appeals to regard the verdict with equanimity appeared to have had a salutary effect. Strident voices on the opposing sides of the dispute seemed restrained as the verdict played out prominently on national media.
It was a long day for the police. They remained deployed in strength across the State and were yet to scale down the alert issued on Friday. Five police station-level jurisdictions in Kasaragod district remained under prohibitory orders. Anti-riot ‘striking forces’ remained on the standby across the State as plainclothes officers, anti-sabotage squads and sniffer dogs patrolled public places, bus terminals, railways stations, and airports.
Ban on processions
The Ernakulam district administration banned victory processions, protests and celebrations in the district to ensure the safety and security of the general public and property. The police have been directed to take precautionary measures to prevent such activities from being conducted in the district.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to the people to exercise restraint in their reaction to the verdict. “Some might feel exultant and the others let down. But the judgment is the law of the land and we are bound to accept it. It should not serve anybody as a tool to drive a wedge between communities,” he said.
“The government is fully geared up and nothing should be done to destroy the peace over the issue,” Mr. Vijayan said, adding that he was not going into the details of the judgment at the moment and would elaborate further only after going through the apex court’s ruling in detail.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan urged the people to “respect the verdict, honour it and follow it”. Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel said he hoped people would put the dispute behind them and move forward.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairman Abdul Nasir Maudany said he disagreed ‘democratically’ with the judgment and urged for peace. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala urged for peace. The State leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party was yet to react to the development.