The 28th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition was unlike previous years with both Hindus and Muslims refraining from holding any special event to mark the day on Sunday even as there was a heavy security deployment in the town to ensure peace. However, Hindu Mahasabha, a right wing Hindu outfit, took a "pledge" on the banks or river Saryu for the “liberation of the temples of Kashi and Mathura on the lines of Ayodhya" as it marked the occasion.
The administration had also asked residents not to organise any gathering in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Until 2018, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) used to observe the day as 'Shaurya Diwas' (day of bravery), while the Muslims in the town marked it as 'Black Day'.
However, this year the VHP had already announced that as the Supreme Court has mandated the disputed site for a temple there was no need for observing the day in any special manner.
"We had issued advisories to our ranks not to celebrate the anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition as Shaurya Diwas," Senior VHP leader Mahant Kamal Nayan Das told PTI.
From the Muslim side, Haji Mahboob, who was their main litigant in the Babri Masjid case, said, "We have not held any event on this day. But we mourned the demolition of Babri Masjid in the mosques and offered special prayers."
A 5-judge bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had in a unanimous verdict on November 9, 2019, decreed the entire 2.77 acre disputed land in favour of deity 'Ram Lalla' and also directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque in Ayodhya.
Subsequently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5 this year laid the foundation here of a Ram temple, the culmination of a campaign that fuelled the rise of the BJP and marked the fulfilment of one of its core poll promises.
The anniversary last year was also a low-key affair with both Hindu and Muslim religious leaders downplaying the occasion amid tight security measures.
Ayodhya Deputy Inspector General of Police Deepak Kumar told PTI the anniversary on Sunday passed off peacefully and no event was organised.
“The seers and the clerics of Ayodhya joined hands for peace and communal harmony,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hindu Mahasabha leader Manish Pandey told PTI, “On this day, we have taken a pledge to liberate the temples of Kashi and Mathura as we have liberated the Ram Mandir.”
Meanwhile, Babri Masjid Action Committee Convener Zafaryab Jilani said a memorandum addressed to the President and the Chief Justice of India has been sent, appealing to them to direct the CBI to file a petition in the high court against the acquittal of the accused in the Babri demolition case.
A mosque at the site was demolished on this in 1992 by ‘kar sevaks’ who believed it was built on a temple land, leading to a protracted litigation which ended with the Supreme Court verdict.