Schools, offices and markets remained open in Uttar Pradesh today but the low turnout indicated the underlying fear and apprehension among the people as they await the verdict of the Allahabad High Court on the Ayodhya title suit case.

Though schools opened as usual in all the districts, respective administrations advanced the timings.

Markets were also open but business was affected with lesser number of people flocking the streets.

In Faizabad and Ayodhya which means ‘where no battle has been fought’, people were waiting with bated breath the pronouncement of the verdict.

The administration is noting down the number of all vehicles entering the Ayodhya town since morning and prayers are being held in all the mosques and temples.

Though the shops and markets are open, no shop was set up in the Thursday weekly market in the Chowk area.

Surprisingly, there has been an increase in the number of pilgrims visiting the makeshift temple in the disputed area since yesterday including those from other states and adjoining districts.

“In both the shifts yesterday the turnout was much better than in the earlier few days”, pujari of the temple, Acharya Satyendra Das said.

Though the entire nation’s eyes are on Lucknow where the verdict would be pronounced, life is going about as normal as possible but traffic was less on the roads.

The situation here was better than that on September 23 when the streets had been more or less empty and the parents had preferred keeping their wards at home or the schools on their own announcing holidays.

In the communally-sensitive Moradabad, Aligarh, Bareilly and Rampur, life was near normal.

As there were no orders from the district administration, the schools and colleges were open but the attendance was on the lower side in all these districts.

A close eye is being maintained on organisations like the Babri Masjid Action Committee and Bajrang Dal in Moradabad.

In Aligarh, about 20 per cent shops were closed but the academic institutions including the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were open.

In Rampur, appeals were being issued both by Hindu and Muslims religious leaders and organisations to maintain peace.