Police arrested 20 followers of the Hindu Mahasabha on Monday when they were proceeding towards the Ram Janambhoomi site to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.
This apart, the day passed peacefully in Ayodhya. However, there was apprehension that there could be trouble because this anniversary was the first after the September 30 Allahabad High Court verdict, trifurcating the plot where the mosque stood.
Last year the background of December 6 was the release of the Liberhan Commission report, which blamed prominent BJP leaders for bringing down the 16th century structure.
There were restrictions on people assembling anywhere. Faizabad district magistrate MP Agarwal and senior superintendent of police RKS Rathore visited all the potential trouble spots.
Muslim traders and shopkeepers kept their establishments shut as they do every year and the community made symbolic protests.
Some Hindu groups renewed their resolution to build the Ram Temple. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) observed the day as ‘Shaurya Diwas’ (the day of glory) at Karsevakpuram. And the VHP’s sister concern, the Hanumant Shakti Jagran Committee, organised Sankalp Diwas (resolution day).
More than 200 devotees and office-bearers of various Hindu organisations participated in the ‘Yagnya’ (worship) and recitation of ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ (poems in honour of Lord Hanuman) at Karsevakpuram. The gathering also paid tribute to the kar sevaks (volunteers) who died in the Ram Janambhumi movement of 1990-91.
Muslim organisations observed ‘Yaum-e-Gham’ (the day of mourning) at the residence of Hazi Mehboob, a plaintiff in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid case.
The Indian Muslim Samaj too held ‘Yaum-e-Gham’ at Beniganj Masjid, where the oldest litigant of the title suit, Hashim Ansari, was present.