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Karsevakpuram priests disappointed as Supreme Court defers Ayodhya dispute hearing

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down requests for an early hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute and said the top court will decide the course of hearings in the first week of January.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2018 22:56 IST
Pawan Dixit
Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Karsevakpuram,Supreme Court,Ayodhya dispute
A stone’s throw away from Karsevakpuram is a workshop where volunteers and workers toil away for hours chiseling massive slabs of stone and wood into ready-to-move building blocks for the temple — a project that has been going on for more than a decade. (PTI)

As the sun rose over Karsevakpuram in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town on Monday morning, there was excitement in the air. Many of the Hindu saints and leaders who live and work in the neighbourhood were confident the Supreme Court would grant an early hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and give a boost to the decades-old campaign for a Ram temple. “It is now or never,” they told HT a day earlier.

But in a matter of five minutes, their spirits were punctured as the top court brushed aside requests for an early hearing. Any resolution to the dispute is unlikely before the general election expected in April-May 2019.

“We were happy that finally daily hearing in the case would start from today (Monday). But all our hopes for a judgment in the case have been shattered. For how long will the Hindu community wait for the court’s verdict?” said Sharad Sharma, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) regional spokesperson based at Karsevakpuram.

Often called the nerve centre of the Ram temple movement, Karsevakpuram is a sprawling campus that hosts the offices of several Hindu organisations, including VHP and the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

It also houses a prototype of the temple the organisations want to build, guarded over by an old kar sevak who was present when a mob brought down the 16th century Babri Masjid in 1992.

A stone’s throw away is a workshop where volunteers and workers toil away for hours chiseling massive slabs of stone and wood into ready-to-move building blocks for the temple — a project that has been going on for more than a decade.

Annu Bhai Sompura, in-charge of the karyashala (workshop) that receives devotees from across the country who offer their prayers to the stone slabs, said his workers were left dejected.

“Here at the karyashala, workers were hopeful that soon stones carved by us, and lying unused for several years, will be finally used for construction of Ram Mandir. But the court’s decision has left us dejected,” he added.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 22:51 IST