India quiet; Muslims, Hindus vow to build mosque, temple
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Saffron outfits vowed to build a a grand Ram temple at the disputed site while Muslims prayed for constructing a mosque and observed shutdowns as the 18th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri shrine passed off peacefully across the country today.
Nearly 150 activists of different organisations were held for defying prohibitory orders in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as Muslims observed the day as 'Yom-e-Gam' (day of sorrow) and Hindu outfits as 'Shaurya Diwas' (day of bravery).
Muslims staged sit-ins, held protest meetings and observed shutdowns at several places while vowing to rebuild the razed Babri mosque.
Over 400 preventive arrests were made in Andhra Pradesh where the old the city of Hyderabad observed a partial shutdown.
Amid tight security, VHP and Bajrang Dal held separate functions in twin cities of Faizabad and Ayodhya and took vows for building a Ram temple at the disputed site.
Muslims unfurled black flags at a mosque in Beniganj to express anguish over the demolition of the Babri shrine on this day in 1992.
PAC, Rapid Action Force and police were deployed in strength, especially in vulnerable places, to ensure peace, officials said.
Round-the-clock vigil was kept at all points leading to Ayodhya-Faizabad, they said.
Thirteen Hindu Mahasabha activists were arrested for violating prohibitory orders in Faizabad. All of them were later released.
Shops belonging to the minority community remained shut throughout the day in Ayodhya and Faizabad.
In the Rajasthan capital, activists of the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu outfits lit earthen lamps and vowed to construct a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
Muslims staged a sit-in and held a protest meeting in the Pink City where speakers said the verdict of the Allahabad High Court on Ayodhya title suits was unfortunate.
In Tamil Nadu, Muslim organisations, including Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, staged demonstrations demanding the arrest of those indicted by the Liberhan Commission which probed the demolition of the disputed structure.