The Allahabad high court verdict had enough potential to spark adverse reactions, but the Hindus and Muslims they did not let that happen.
In the temple town, there was no jubilation on the face of the ordinary Hindu and there was nothing to show that Muslims were angry. They were tired of the conflict and determined not to let anybody exploit their feelings. They wanted peace.
Most people preferred to stay in. The leaders of trade associations from both communities had appealed to their members to discuss the verdict only within the confines of their homes, so they did that.
In fact, most people were unwilling to talk to the media. Ramnaresh Tiwari, who owns a paan shop near Hanumangadi, downed shutters within half-an-hour of the verdict and started rushing home.
He said, “We wanted the verdict to come and we are happy it has come. Now, our only aim is to maintain mutual harmony and peace.”
When asked whether he was happy with the judgment, Tiwari said angrily, “Do not force me to make any controversial statement.”
Irfan Sheikh, who owns a grocery shop, looked slightly sombre. When asked for his reaction, Sheikh said, “At least the tension is over and we can start a fresh chapter together. Now it is up to leaders to decide whether they would end the matter here.”
Maulana Mohammad Zafar has been holding regular prayers at the local for peace. “The prayers have done their work,” he said. “There is absolute peace.”