As the Supreme Court concluded hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case Wednesday, the Uttar Pradesh government issued an order saying officials on “field duty” will not be granted leave till November 30. The official order, however, attributed the decision to the festival season.
The order mentions that no official should be granted leave, unless in the most unavoidable circumstances, till November 30.
Officials considered to be on field duties include police officers posted at the district and lower levels, as well as district magistrates. The order directs the officials to remain present at their respective headquarters.
Section 144 CrPC is already in place in Ayodhya till December 10. The order prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the area without permission. It also bars boating in the district and the sale and manufacture of firecrackers.
The period till November 30 hosts some important festivals in the Hindu calendar, including Diwali, Chhath pooja and Bhaiya Dooj. Barawafat and Guru Nanak Jayanti also fall in the month of November.
“The cancellation of duties during festival season is a normal thing and there is nothing unusual in it,” UP government’s Director of Information, Shishir told PTI.
Asked what made the government extend the order for the entire month when festivals are over much before November end, Shishir said he had no information.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court concluded the hearing of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and has reserved the judgment. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also asked the parties to file written submissions on the moulding of relief in three days.