Ahead of Ayodhya verdict, authorities ban 'mourning', 'victory' processions; extend restrictions

Ayodhya: Ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute case, the local administration has imposed a ban on any event marking a "victory" or "mourning" over the judgement.

In a series of restrictions, District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha on Saturday ordered against the use of social media to "insult" deities or to install idols and hold processions related to Ram Janmabhoomi.

He also extended till December 28 the prohibitory order issued on October 12, mentioning apprehension of breach of peace ahead of the verdict.

The prohibitory order was earlier imposed till December 10. Those violating it would be booked under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience of an order by public servant).

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The district magistrate has also banned hoarding and black-marketing of ration, cereals, vegetables, fruits, eggs and edible oils.

According to the order, all types of gatherings in private and public places that could hamper communal harmony have been banned. The district magistrate also barred "victory celebrations" and "mourning processions"

"No attempt should be allowed to make any insulting remarks on great personalities, deities and gods on any social media platform such as Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. Besides, no installation of idols of any deity will take place without permission from the district administration," the order stated.

It said the restrictions were imposed in view of festivals and other events during this period, including Chhath Puja, Kartik Purnima, Chaudhari Charan Singh's birth anniversary, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Eid-ul-Milad and Christmas.

The order, which was first made public on October 10, has now been revised with a set of 30 detailed instructions. It has put a complete ban on any event, public programme, procession, rally and wall paintings related to Ramjanmabhoomi.

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The order has categorically barred all individuals, except government officers, from carrying licensed weapons, unless permission is sought from the district administration.

"No individual will keep acid or any item that comprises potent explosive substance or chemical formula. Also, no one will carry stones, pebbles, broken glass pieces or even empty bottles," stated the order.

According to it, there would also be a complete ban on any event, rally, street-corner meeting and cultural programme in the district during this period.

There is a ban on throwing any non-vegetarian leftovers at a public place. "Besides, no sale or consumption of meat, fish and eggs will take place on Kartik Purnima, Chaudahkosi and Panchkosi Parikrama Mela during this period," the order stated.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is expected to deliver the verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute case before his retirement on November 17.