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The much-awaited verdict in the 125-year-old Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid legal dispute in Ayodhya will be pronounced by a special bench of the Allahabad High Court Sep 24.

An announcement to that effect was communicated through notices issued by the registrar of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court here Wednesday afternoon.

“The judgment would be pronounced by the special bench Sep 24,” said a notice issued by the high court registrar.

A three-judge special bench of Justice S.U. Khan, Justice D.V. Sharma and Justice Sudhir Agarwal concluded the hearing in the long pending case in July and reserved the verdict.

Since then speculation was rife not only over the possible date of the judgment, but also over its religious and political fallout as the issue has been influencing the country’s politics.

So far it was believed that the verdict would be pronounced Sep 17.

Three fundamental questions were to be answered by the court: “Is the disputed spot in Ayodhya the birthplace of Lord Rama? Was the Babri mosque built after the demolition of a temple? Was the mosque in question built in accordance with the tenets of Islam?”

Rival claims by Hindu and Muslim groups to the disputed site led to the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid by Hindu mobs Dec 6, 1992, triggering widespread communal violence that left thousands dead across the country.

The issue polarised politics between those for and against the mosque at the site and left a legacy of distrust between the country’s majority Hindus and Muslims, the country’s largest minority.

Fearing a repeat of communal violence, Uttar Pradesh has already sought from the central government 35,000 paramilitary personnel for security duty as the state prepares to deal with any fallout of the much-awaited verdict.

While there will be heavy deployment of security personnel in and around the twin towns of Ayodhya and Faizabad, central forces would also be kept ready in all other communally sensitive cities and towns of the state, the country’s most populous.

Besides Ayodhya-Faizabad, vigil will also be mounted ahead of the verdict in towns such as Varanasi, Mathura, Lucknow, Kanpur, Gonda, Bahraich, Allahabad, Aligarh, Moradabad and Meerut.


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