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Diwali in Ayodhya: Administration blocks VHP’s bid to light 5,100 diyas at site of Lord Ram’s birth

VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma had earlier declared that the seers of Ayodhya would go inside the Ram Mandir and light up diyas (earthen lamps) before the deity on one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated to mark the arrival of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile.

Diwali in Ayodhya: Administration blocks VHP’s bid to light 5,100 diyas at site of Lord Ram’s birth
The district authority made it clear that any religious activity that goes beyond the mandate of the Supreme Court will not be allowed at the disputed site. (PTI)

Diwali at Ayodhya Ram Janmabhumi site: The Vishva Hindu Parishad, which is a party in the ongoing Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case in Supreme Court, on Sunday said that seers of the holy town will light 5,100 earthen lamps at the disputed site on Diwali. However, the grand plans were grounded after the district authority made it clear that any religious activity that goes beyond the mandate of the Supreme Court will not be allowed at the disputed site.

VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma had earlier declared that the seers of Ayodhya would go inside the Ram Mandir and light up diyas (earthen lamps) before the deity on one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated to mark the arrival of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile. Sharma also said that a delegation of seers will meet Faizabad Divisional Commissioner Manoj Mishra who has been authorised by the Supreme Court to oversee the disputed site.

However, Mishra has already stated that no new religious activity will be allowed inside the disputed premises. “Any type of new tradition will not be allowed at the disputed site. Only those religious activities will be allowed which are permitted by the apex court,” Mishra was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

The Supreme Court in its order passed way back in 1993 prohibited any type of religious activity inside the disputed site except the chief priest performing only routine prayers of the deity including the offering of food. According to chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das, “Diwali is always celebrated at the Ram Janambhoomi shrine by lighting up 51 diyas (earthen lamps) in the temple”.

Meanwhile, Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha has imposed section 144 in the district ahead of the Supreme Court verdict which is expected to come by mid-November. He shared the order on Twitter and said: “The order has been issued considering safety and security of Ayodhya and those visiting here as Govt’s paramount concerns.”

He also added that “there is another order in force since 31.08.2019 covering aspects of unlawful assemblies and undesirable activities. The order dated 12.10.2019 has been issued to cover a couple of points that were not there in the earlier order.” The Supreme Court will wrap up the daily hearings in the case by October 17 and the judgement is expected to be pronounced by the second week of November before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi retires.

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