Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India – There was increased security in Ayodhya, a town in northern India, ahead of the Supreme Court's judgment on a site claimed by both The Muslims and Hindus.
Early on Saturday, the town looked deserted as residents stayed inside their homes, waiting for the decision to be announced.
Some even stocked up on food in advance, in case the decision caused anger, violence and eventually a curfew in this historic town.
But when the top court of India delivered its verdict, the Hindu majority Ayodhya slowly returned to normal, with people on the streets.
A heavy police presence did not deter. Locals from the adventure and expressing their happiness or reservation about landmark judgment.
In a landmark ruling that frustrated some Muslims, the court granted Hindus control of the site, paving the way for the construction of a temple.
A 16th-cen The tury mosque, known as Babri Masjid, was on the site until December 6, 1992, when it was destroyed by Hindu mobs.
Hindus believe that Lord Ram, the warrior god, was born in the area and claim that the first Mughal emperor Babur built a mosque on top of a temple there.
On Saturday, a Constitutional judge led by President Judge Ranjan Gogoi also ordered the Indian government to allocate five hectares (two hectares) of land to Muslims to build of a mosque, and said the demolition in 1992 was a violation of law enforcement and should be remedied.
The Supreme Court ordered the government to form a committee within three months to direct the construction of the temple.
Hindus in Ayodhya appreciate the judgment, with many saying that they respect the interest of both Hindus and Muslims.
Some greeted each other in the streets as others chanted "Jai Shree Ram" (Hail Lord Ram), a religious slogan politicized in the early 1990s during the Ram Temple Movement, which led to demolition of the Babri Mosque.
"This is a historic day for all Hindus around the world and I am really proud of how the Supreme Court has handled the whole issue. There could not have been a better judgment than that," Bharat Das, a Hindu priest at a temple in Ayodhya, Al Jazeera was told.
"I also accept the court's decision to give alternative land to Muslims. This decision will strengthen the relationship between Hindus and Muslims in the country."
Rajendra Tiwari, owner of a small shop in town, has accepted the judgment on economic factors.
"If a large temple of Ram is built. In Ayodhya, it will boost the local economy as more tourists join the town," he said. "This means better business opportunities for people like me.
"The economy of Ayodhya relies heavily on Ram and if there is no tourist, we will have nothing to eat.
"Even Muslims cannot deny that fact. The people of this country, regardless of their religion, must prosper and this decision has been made."
The mixed reactions to Muslims
Reactions to Muslim communities were combined.
Some accepted. the decision, others denied it, and there was also a sense of resignation in the town – that Muslims had no choice but to accept the court's decision.
There was also a sense of relief, with the outcome being the best possible way to end a dispute that has become the largest line of offense between the two Indian communities.
"We want closure and the Supreme Court has shown us the way. We have no issues with Ram Mandir being built there but we would have been happier if the court had determined the place where the mosque would be built," he said. Babu Bhai, a member of the Babri Mosque Citizen Resolution Committee.
Akram Khan, a resident, welcomed the verdict: "The older members of our community, who are also part of the negotiations, said they respect and accept the judgment in court, so there is no reason why we should be different. .
"Our five generations have witnessed the outrage over this misunderstanding and if this is how the court feels it should be addressed, we welcome it. "to review legal options, including the submission of a review petition.
Government, opposition to the judgment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict should not be seen as a win or loss for to anyone.
"Peace and peace are maintained. by [1.3 billion] Indians in the run-up to today's verdict show India's natural commitment to peaceful coexistence, "Modi said." May this very spirit of unity and togetherness strengthen the the development trajectory of our country. May every Indian be empowered. "
Opposition parties accepted the court's decision and called for peace and solidarity in the country.
However, there was some backlash from the opposition politician Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the All India Council-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
"If Babri Mos had not been demolished that day, what would the judiciary do today?" He said. "There has been discrimination against Muslims and no one can deny it. We are fighting for our legal rights. "
He rejected the promise of an alternative plot of land for Muslims, saying he was afraid that other mosques in the country might see it. similar claim.
Valay Singh, author of Ayodhya: City of Faith, City of Discord, described the verdict as a "landmark decision".
"What is more interesting is how not even a judge. dissented, "he told Al Jazeera," which says a lot about the times we live in. "