India

Hindu saints seek permission to perform prayers at Ayodhya site on Diwali

Hindu saints seek permission to perform prayers at Ayodhya site on Diwali

Less than 24 hours after the Ayodhya district administration tightened curbs under Section 144 in the area till December 10 as the Supreme Court prepares to wrap up hearing in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, a group of Hindu saints Monday met the area divisional commissioner seeking permission to perform prayers on Diwali at the disputed site.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad also met Divisional Commissioner Manoj Mishra and submitted a memorandum backing the saints demand.

Meanwhile, the Babri Action Committee said that they would also offer Namaz if permission is granted by the divisional commissioner.

On Sunday, District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha announced fresh restrictions including a ban on the sale and manufacture of fire crackers.

Posting a copy of the latest order on his Twitter account, Jha wrote: “The order has been issued considering safety and security of Ayodhya and those visiting here…”

In another post, Jha wrote: “I must add that already there is another order in force since 31.08.2019 covering aspects of unlawful assemblies and undesirable activities. The order dated 12.10.2019 has been issued to cover a couple of points which were not there in the earlier order.”

The latest order prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the area without permission. It also bars boating in the district, and the sale and manufacture of fire crackers.

It states that shops and godowns can stay open, with permission, only in specific areas identified by the district administration. The order has been sent to all senior officials of the district.

In the Supreme Court, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has asked for all arguments in the land dispute case to be concluded by October 17.

Hearing resumed Monday after the week-long Dussehra break, and the judgment is expected before the Chief Justice of India retires on November 17.