On Thursday more than 200 police personnel were pulled out from their assigned Commonwealth Games duties and deployed on security arrangements ahead of the Ayodhya verdict.
Markets in the Walled City opened during the day but as soon as the verdict was announced they were shut down within 15 minutes.
Hundreds of police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in the Jama Masjid area while religious leaders interacted with people to stay calm and patient.
A wireless message was flashed in the morning asking all the Station House Officers (SHO) and Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) to report at their respective police stations.
Post the verdict, roads and markets wore a deserted look as people chose to stay home and offices were shut early in the afternoon.
Cable television network was snapped by the police an hour before the verdict was to be announced at 4.30 pm on Thursday.
“The disputed land should neither be given to Muslims nor Hindus, it should be made into a symbol of national integrity. Whatever the court has decided we agree with it,” said Mohammad Salim, a resident of Jama Masjid.
Police kept a strict vigil on local politicians to ensure that they don’t make any inflammatory speech.
Soon after the verdict Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Imam of Jama Masjid announced, “We should not get disheartened, there is one more way to challenge the verdict—in Supreme Court.”
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Jhandewalan appeared to have turned into a security fortress with snipers deployed on rooftops. Several people who had to go out of Delhi cancelled their railway tickets.
“Our office was shut at 1.30 pm today. We only worked for half day. Sensing possible trouble we were asked to go home,” said Juhi Nagpal, a financial analyst who works for a private firm in Connaught Place.
Markets like Dariba Kalan, Chawri Bazaar, Nai Sadak, Hauz Qazi, Chandni Chowk, Inderlok and Shahadra were open during the day but they were closed around 5 pm after the verdict was announced.
“We should not repeat what happened in the past, all the religious leaders should sit and reach a compromise,” said Hafiz Mohammad Javed, president, Awami Mahaz, an NGO operating in the Jama Masjid area.
In north Delhi, both Hindu and Muslim residents held prayer meetings and events to express solidarity regardless of the verdict.