Section 144 of the CrPC which bars assembly of more than four people was imposed in Mumbai on Saturday as the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid suit. The prohibitory order comes into effect from 11 am and will remain in force for the next 24 hours, a Mumbai Police spokesperson said.
Earlier, 40,000 police personnel were deployed in Mumbai and the situation is being monitored through drone units and live CCTV feeds from the police control room. The financial capital had witnessed communal riots after demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya in December 1992 and January 1993.
“We are prepared to tackle any eventuality,” said DCP Pranay Ashok.
When asked about declaring holiday for schools, the official said, “We have communicated to school education department. Some schools are already shut due to Diwali holidays while the decision about the rest will be taken according to the situation,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque. In one of the most important and most anticipated judgements in India's history, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi put an end to the more than a century old dispute. The apex court said the mosque should be constructed at a "prominent site" and a trust should be formed within three months for the construction of the temple at the site many Hindus believe Lord Ram was born. The site was occupied by the 16th century Babri mosque which was destroyed by Hindu kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
The apex court said the extensive nature of Hindus worshipping at outer courtyard at the disputed site has been there, and the evidence suggests the Muslims offered Friday prayers at mosque which indicates that they had not lost possession of the site.
It said that despite obstruction caused in offering prayers at Mosque, the evidences suggest that there was no abandonment in offering prayers.