Updated: November 10, 2019 8:50:39 am
Around 8 am, in the lush lawn outside the Supreme Court, an advocate from the Nirmohi Akhara had already taken his place in front of television cameras. “It is a 150-year-old fight, an ancient fight,” he told mediapersons. “At the end of this, the nation will win.”
Over two hours before the Ayodhya verdict was announced, the lawn outside the country’s top court had become a venue for hectic conversations and speculation.
Around 9 am, VHP vice-president Champat Rai sat surrounded by advocates. “For 30 years I have fought this fight. It is okay if I do not get into the courtroom to see the final stage,” he told the advocates. He was one of many people denied entry inside the court as the crowd had swelled beyond capacity.
Hindu Mahasabha members called for the celebration of a “second Diwali” as Dharmadass, the main respondent on behalf of Bhagwan Ram Lalla Virajman, made an appearance. As some junior advocates rushed to touch his feet, he said: “Hanuman will deliver for us. Let us not think too hard.”
As excerpts of the judgment started streaming in at 10.30 am, lawyers were glued to their phones. And as the verdict became clear, a clutch of lawyers rushed out of the SC towards the lawn.
One of them pulled out a red banner from his pocket with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ inscribed on it, and waved it around. Conch shells were blown, victory signs flashed, and chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ echoed outside the top court.
Removed from the celebrations, lawyers from the UP Central Sunni Wakf Board walked out of the SC. As reporters chased them, lawyer Zafaryab Jilani did not take questions.
One of the lawyers from the group walked over to a lawyer from the opposing side and congratulated him. Looking at his phone, Maulana Suhaib Qasmi of the Ayodhya Varta Committee said, “If they want to make a temple, let them do it. It is sad we had to come to court to sort out our differences.”
As he heard his lawyer explain the verdict, Mahant Raja Ram Acharya, the plaintiff from the Nirmohi Akhara, said: “We have been marginalised and sidelined yet again.”
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