Ayodhya verdict `not a victory or defeat of anyone`, says PM Modi

Ayodhya verdict `not a victory or defeat of anyone`, says PM Modi

India braced Saturday for a Supreme Court ruling over a holy site contested for centuries by Hindus and Muslims, which in 1992 sparked some of the deadliest sectarian violence since independence. A senior MHA official requesting anonymity said that a general advisory has been sent to all states and Union Territories asking them to stay alert and deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country.

"State governments have identified several schools to set up temporary jails if the need arises", said the official, who declined to be identified.

Modi is nevertheless desperate to avoid bloodshed and ahead of the verdict, the BJP and the more hardline RSS organisation have told supporters to avoid any provocative celebrations.

"Whatever the verdict.it won't be anybody's win or loss", he said.

He urged people to honour the verdict.

Muslims say they offered prayers at the mosque until December 1949 when some Hindus placed an idol of Ram in the mosque and began to worship the idols.

Since then, there have been calls to build a temple on the spot where the mosque once stood.

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Officers quickly worked to block off the area, put the elementary school across the street on lockdown, and sent in the SWAT unit. Police said a relative called 911 to report that Ogle was armed and barricaded inside the residence with her husband.

Meanwhile, political parties in the city also appealed to people to maintain peace after the verdict.

Already on Friday, a 56-year-old man in Maharashtra state was arrested for posting on Facebook that he hoped the verdict would remove a "dark spot of history", the Press Trust of India reported.

Hindus make up about 80 per cent of India's 1.3 billion population while there are about 200 million Muslims. The apex court is expected to deliver its verdict on a dispute over the ownership of 2.77 acre of land in Ayodhya before November 17, when Chief Justice Gogoi retires. Control of the main disputed section, where the mosque once stood, was given to Hindus.

In 2010, a High Court ruled that Muslims and Hindus should split the site - albeit unevenly, with Hindus granted the lion's share.

It affirmed the disputed spot was the birthplace of Lord Ram, that the Babri Masjid was built after the demolition of a Hindu temple, and that the mosque was not built in accordance with the tenets of Islam.

According to the Times of India, the decision on the future of the site claimed by both Muslims and Hindus will be announced on Saturday (tomorrow).

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