The 30th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition passed peacefully on Tuesday in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.
Several thousads of Hindu kar sevaks brought down the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. They believed that it was built by Mughal Emperor Babar atop the ruins of a Hindu temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu.
Since 1950s, various Hindua and Muslim petitioners were contesting over the land the Babri Masjid was built. In 2019, the Supreme Court awarded the plot of disputed land to the Hindus. The Ram Mandir is currently construction there.
The business-as-usual Babri Masjid demolition anniversary in Ayodhya was a break from the past where curfew-like situations developed on some past occasions. Life remained normal in Ayodhya with schools, colleges, offices, and public institutions remaining open. Police, however, remain on alert.
Like any other day, local people were seen queuing at the Ram Mandir complex for a 'darshan' while traffic remained heavy during morning rush hour.
Unlike in the past, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is not celebrating any "Shaurya Diwas" (bravery day) and there are no plans by the Muslim community to observe a Black Day.
With the Supreme Court judgement in 2019 ending the Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute, people from both the communities appear to be yearning for peace.
In past years, Ayodhya used to be turned into a fortress ahead of the Babri mosque demolition anniversary. Not this time, though.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Ayodhya, Muniraj G said "routine arrangements" have been made in the city as precautionary measures.
"We are also continuously monitoring social media platforms, while hotels are also being checked," Muniraj G, who was recently appointed as the SSP of Ayohdya, tol reporters.
All vehicles coming into Ayodhya are being thoroughly checked. Nothing unusual has been reported so far, however, we are keeping a strict vigil," the SSP, who inspecte the city markets on Monday night, said.
VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma told PTI on Tuesday that no event is lined up for the day on the occasion. He had earlier said events organised to mark December 6 were toned down after the Supreme Court decision “in favour of the Hindu side”.
"The 'Shaurya Diwas' which used to be celebrated on December 6, it has been called off completely as our main 'sankalp' (vow) was fulfilled. And after that, all we wanted was a peaceful environment. So it was unanimously decided that no event that triggers any tension or hurts anyone should be organised," said Sharma earlier.
Sharma said the VHP didn't want to do anything that damages trust and communal harmony".
However, many Muslims still feel that families of those killed in the aftermath of the Babri demolition are yet to get justice.
In two mosques of the city, recitation of the Quran was held after early morning prayers peacefully in small gatherings on Tuesday.
Babri petitioner Haji Mehboob said, "We organised Quran Khani (recitation of Quran) in remembrance of those who lost their lives in Ayodhya after demolition of Babri Mosque. No other programmes have been planned."
Another petitioner, Iqbal Ansari said,"After the Supreme Court judgment, Muslims have forgotten everything. Ayodhya is dharam ki nagri (City of Dharma)... we have left behind what happened 30 years ago and are now talking of development."
Three decades after the demolition of the Babri mosque, people in Ayodhya seem to have moved on and appear to be treating its anniversary on Tuesday almost like any other day.
(With PTI inputs)