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Uneasy Calm In Ayodhya, Faizabad

Ayodhya, Sept 23: Otherwise chock-a-bloc with devotees on 'Bhadon Purnima' day, the bathing ghats of Ayodhya and Faizabad today witnessed a low turnout of pilgrims indicating the palpable tension in the air ahead of the
PTI September 23, 2010 15:13 IST
PTI
Ayodhya, Sept 23: Otherwise chock-a-bloc with devotees on 'Bhadon Purnima' day, the bathing ghats of Ayodhya and Faizabad today witnessed a low turnout of pilgrims indicating the palpable tension in the air ahead of the verdict on the title suit case tomorrow.  

Same was the scene at the weekly Thursday market near the main chowk in Faizabad which is normally choc-a-bloc with pilgrims and locals.  

Though the locals of the temple town expressed confidence that the situation in the twin towns would not get affected by the Ayodhya title suits verdict, the uneasy calm is suggestive of apprehensions in the hearts of the locals, who have witnessed bloodshed and curfew in 1990 and 1992 over the temple issue.  

The government-appointed chief pujari of the makeshift Ramjanmbhoomi temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, admitted that the flow of devotees to the temple has been very low.  

"The majority of those who made it to the temple today have been the security personnel deployed in the area as a negative publicity has been generated about the security here", he said.

Shopkeepers from places like Kanpur and other towns have kept away from the weekly market and only the local businessmen have put up their shops.  

More security personnel were being seen on the roads of Ayodhya than local people. However, district authorities are not willing to speak much about security measures with SSP R K S Rathore saying adequate security has been deployed and a close watch is being maintained over the situation.  

Police sources said that District Magistrate M.P Agarwal along with top district officials is on a tour of the towns since the morning, halting at every barrier, passing on instructions and checking their preparedness.  

RAF, CRPF, PAC and home guards besides anti-sabotage teams, bomb disposal squads and vajra vehicles are making the rounds of the towns keeping a close watch on the situation round-the-clock.  

Though schools and colleges were open today, attendance was low. Managers of coaching centres have been asked to keep the shutters down tomorrow to ward off any trouble. The trains and buses coming to Ayodhya and Faizabad are literally empty. PTI