The decision of the Allahabad High Court on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit was received peacefully by the people of Dakshina Kannada on Thursday, even as a cross-section of leaders welcomed the verdict and called for calm.
In the busiest areas of the city such as the Central Market, Car Street and the city bus-stand, activities started slowly in the morning but picked up by around 11 a.m.. However, the bustle was missing.
Most of the commercial establishments were closed as the time of the verdict neared. Around 4.30 p.m., most streets wore a deserted look and vehicles were off the road. However, people started trickling outdoors again after sunset.
Cinema theatres, liquor shops and educational institutions remained closed across the district, as per the prohibitory orders clamped by the District Magistrate. Bus services were limited and autorickshaw drivers made the most of the situation by charging exorbitant fares.
There was a security blanket thrown over the district with heavy police deployment at major junctions across the district. There was also round-the-clock patrolling by the jurisdictional police. A company (100 men) of the Border Security Force, which had been requisitioned from the Union Government, did not arrive on Thursday. Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh said that the BSF personnel were expected to arrive on Thursday evening. Two incidents of cracker bursting were reported: one from Bantwal taluk and another from Bhavanti Street here. Former corporation councillor Kamalaksha Bajilakeri was taken into police custody in connection with the incident on Bhavanti Street. Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj said that theatres would be permitted to screen movies but warned that this decision might be revoked in case of any large-scale disturbance.