Kerala stays incident-free after Ayodhya verdict

Chief Minister appeals for peace, police on high alert

Updated - November 09, 2019 01:54 pm IST

Published - November 09, 2019 01:41 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala remained incident-free on Saturday as the implications of the Supreme Court decision to allow the construction of a temple at the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh began to sink in.

Leaders across the religious spectrum in the State said they would respect the verdict of the apex court. The court had also decidedly unanimously to assign five acres of land to Muslims in the same neighbourhood and vest the ownership of the contested property in the Central government.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State president Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal told journalists in Malappuram that the party respected the decision. The IUML leadership will meet soon to discuss the merit of the judgment. He urged the public to regard the verdict with equanimity.

P. K. Kunhalikutty, MP and national general secretary of the IUML, said it was too early in the day to comment on the decision of the Muslim Personal Law Board to move the apex court to review its verdict.

The IUML had passed a resolution in 1989 to accept the decision of the Supreme Court irrespective of the legal outcome of the dispute. The party would abide by the decision. The Congress in Kerala has said that it respected the verdict but reserved any further comments till the party studied the judgment in detail.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said some might consider that the verdict had gone against their aspirations. Some others might reckon that the court had vindicated their stance.

Those with opposing views about the verdict were constitutionally bound to uphold the final decision of the court. They should not upset public peace or sow disharmony or discord between different groups of people in the aftermath of the court’s decision.

Mr Vijayan reminded Kerala that it had not witnessed any major communal upheaval or violence during the traumatic days that followed the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Kerala had a strong secular tradition. He said the details of the judgment were trickling in and it was too early for any comment on its merit. Mr Vijayan said the State police remained on full alert.

Meanwhile, State Police Chief Loknath Behera called on Mr Vijayan at the Government Secretariat here and briefed him on the law and order situation. Later, he conferred with district police chiefs across Kerala via video conferencing from the police headquarters.

In Kasargode, Kerala northernmost district bordering Karnataka, the Kerala police are in a heightened state of alert.

 Five police station jurisdictions in the district remained under prohibitory orders issued by the district magistrate. They are in Manjeshawaram, Kumbala, Kasargode, Hosdurg and Chandera police station limits.

Mr Behera also authorised the preventive detention of anti-socials and accused involved in cases registered in connection with sowing discord among communities.

The police have also brought the cadre and leaders of radical organisations of all religious and political hues under their surveillance.

 The State police have warned against any attempt to stoke communal passions or spread divisive propaganda on the internet. In a communique to the public, the police said they had upped their monitoring of the social media.

Police anti-sabotage squads aided by sniffer dogs and later bomb detection equipment carried out inspections at railway stations, bus stands and outside airports across Kerala. 

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