After the Ayodhya verdict, a sense of anticipation and tension was quite unmistakable in Bhendi Bazaar, one of the most sensitive areas here. But people said they were happy with the verdict. “We want this to end here. Bas ab appeal mat karo [Don't appeal further in the Supreme Court],” said Gulam Mohammed Shaikh, member of the Pydhonie mohalla committee.
“This is the most secular judgment. Kanoon ne sab ka saath diya hai. In judges ke photos har chowk mein lagane chahiye. [The law has been on everyone's side. The photos of these judges should be hung on each crossroad],” said Vinod Divecha, a resident.
But many people preferred to stay indoors. More than half the shops were closed. “Sab log kaam chhodke TV dekh rahe hein. Ye sab media ka kaam hai, warna kisko itna waqt hai? [Everyone's at home watching the verdict on TV. The media has hyped it; who has so much time these days]”, a policeman asked.
S.V. Pathan, senior Police Inspector, Pydhonie Police Station, said, “All movements are normal. Local people have themselves participated in maintaining peace in the area. The mohalla committee is very active here.”
Minutes after the verdict was aired on television, Gulzar Sheikh, ex-municipal councillor stepped out of his house in Behrampada, one of the worst affected areas in the 1992-93 riots. He stopped at every nook and corner, telling gossiping youths to disperse and get home. He had been “doing the rounds” since morning.
“Everyone should honour the court's decision. The Supreme Court path is open. Everyone should honour it's verdict too. It's not a question of victory and loss. What happened in 1992-93 should never happen again anywhere. Neighbour turned against neighbour. It was like people forgot sympathy. I told the Justice Srikrishna Commission too, when I had deposed, that I do not want the wounds to be revived,” Mr. Sheikh told The Hindu.
Rehmat Bi's brother Abbas Mehboob died in the firing during the 1992-93 riots. “Let the mandir be in its place and let the masjid be in its place. There were no idols; someone kept them there. I lost my brother and my land. I sheltered Hindu women from seven families during the riots. I say let there be equal share,” she said.
Saddiq Abbas Momaya, a tea vendor at Behrampada said, “The verdict is fine. Just as they decided specifically on what portion belongs to Ram Lalla, they should decide what portion belongs to the Muslims. Everyone was made happy by the division of the land in three parts,” he said.
Keywords: Ayodhya verdict