Friday, March 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

SC clarifies Ayodhya order

New Delhi, March 14
The Supreme Court today clarified that the status quo barring any kind of religious activity ordered by it at the acquired land in Ayodhya also covered the whole of the land vested with the Central Government.

The clarification was made in a ruling by a three-Judge Bench while modifying yesterday’s order which had disallowed any religious activity of any nature on the acquired land of 67.703 acres.

The court said it was issuing the clarifications because of the ambiguity pointed out in a newspaper report in its yesterday’s order.

The report said the order by the same Bench covered only two revenue plots in Kot Ramchandra village while barring any religious activity in the entire 67.703 acres whereas the acquired land in fact encompassed over a 100 revenue plots spread over three villages in the holy town.

The Bench comprised Mr Justice B.N. Kirpal, Mr Justice G.B. Pattanaik and Mr Justice V.N. Khare.

The modified order makes it clear that it also covered the land described in the Schedule to the Acquisition of Certain Areas at Ayodhya Act, 1993.

“In the meantime, we direct that on this 67.703 acres of land located in revenue plot Nos 159 and 160 in Kot Ramchandra village as well as and including the land described in the Schedule to the Acquisition of Certain Areas at Ayodhya Act, 1993 (Act No.33/1993) which is vested within the Central Government, no religious activity of any kind by anyone, either symbolic or actual, including bhoomi puja or Shila puja shall be permitted or allowed to take place,” said today’s modified order.

The judges had earlier in the day said in the court they would like to carry out some appropriate correction in their order yesterday. The Attorney General Soli Sorabjee was told about this in the court room before the judges took up the listed business.

The court said its clarification was being carried out as per the suggestion of the Attorney General to encompass the whole of the acquired land.

Stating there were 14 temples on the acquired land and that puja had been going on in those temples, Mr Sorabjee submitted that yesterday’s and today’s order of the court should not restrain the puja that was going on for years in those temples. PTIBack


Curfew-like situation in Ayodhya
Security forces stage flag march

Ayodhya, March 14
A curfew-like silence prevails in the town on the eve of VHP’s proposed ‘shila dan’ tomorrow, even as the security forces staged a ‘flag march’ here today and in the district headquarter town of Faizabad.

Security has been further strengthened with the arrival of 10 more companies in the district to prevent ‘kar sevaks’ from entering Ayodhya.

This is the second such exercise by the forces.

Fourteen companies of the CRPF and the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) besides some units of the UP police, participated in the flag march which criss-crossed the city, including lanes close to the disputed site.

Security personnel, in full anti-riot gears marched through the city particularly near Karsevakpuram and Ramsevakpuram (camp site of kar sevaks).

A senior police official confirmed that unprecedented security arrangements had been done not only to curb the movement of ‘Ram sevaks’ towards Ayodhya but also to check the infiltration of terrorists in the guise of ‘kar sevaks’ into the town.

“The state government has specific information on Jaish-e-Mohammad trying to sneak in disruptive elements into Ayodhya and cause mayhem through a strike ...,” he said.

Several checkposts have been established and paramilitary forces deployed at all roads and entry points that lead to Ayodhya. All borders to the city have also been sealed and no vehicle or person is being allowed to move around, without proper identification and checking.

With people preferring to remain indoors in view of the volatile situation, the streets wear a deserted look and life seems to have come to a standstill with restriction on movement at every step. The only ones to be seen on the roads are either the security forces or mediapersons and stray simians as curious onlookers.

Nevertheless, life was normal at Faizabad.

Meanwhile, SSP, Faizabad has issued fresh orders on focussing vigil on the Ayodhya bypass bordering Gonda and Basti after getting information that ‘kar sevaks’ planned to sneak in through ‘Guptar Ghat’ on the banks of Saryu.

Information received here said ‘kar sevaks’ planned to enter Ayodhya through the ‘’Parikrama Marg’’ early tomorrow.

With a long stretch on the Ayodhya bypass considered porous, security has been further strengthened in the area.

So far, no arrests have been made and officially the situation has been described as ‘normal’ here. PTIBack

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