CG Hardcore Club
- Nov 9, 2008
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India: Court rules in favor of Hindus over Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute
India's top court on Saturday ruled in favor of Hindus in the decadeslong land title dispute between Hindus and Muslims in the far-north town of Ayodhya.
In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that the site where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992 must be handed over to a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple, subject to conditions.
A separate 5 acre (2.02 hectare) piece of land in the town would be given over to Muslim groups to build a new mosque, the court said.
The disputed land was the site of the 6th-century Babri Masjid mosque. Its razing led to riots in which more than 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed.
The court, which had been sitting since August on the issue, observed that the destruction of the mosque was a violation of law.
Longstanding Hindu claim
Hindus claim their god Ram was born in Ayodhya and a temple in his name predated the mosque.
They say that in the 16th century, Babur, the first emperor of the Mughal Islamic dynasty, built a mosque on top of the structure.
Hindus have campained for years to build a new temple at the site, while Muslims want a new mosque.
In 2010, a lower court ruled that the disputed land should be divided into three parts — two for Hindus and one for Muslims.
That was challenged in the Supreme Court by the two communities represented by Hindu Maha Sabha, the Sunni Waqf Board, and the Nirmohi Akhara.
Giving their initial reaction to Saturday's ruling, Zafaryab Jilani, a lawyer for the Sunni Waqf Board said: "We respect the verdict, but we are not satisfied ... we will go through the judgment carefully."
The Ayodhya issue continues to provoke tensions between majority Hindus and Muslims, who account for about 14% of India's 1.3 billion population.
Ahead of the verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged calm and security was tightened around the Supreme Court building in New Delhi and Ayodhya, where 5,000 security forces were deployed.
"Whatever the decision of the Supreme Court ..., it will not be a victory or defeat for anyone. My appeal to fellow countrymen is our collective priority should be that this decision further strengthens the great tradition of peace, unity and goodwill in India," he wrote on Twitter.
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for a temple to be built at the site hotly disputed by Hindus and Muslims for centuries. A mosque at the site was razed by Hindu mobs in 1992; deadly riots killed 2,000 people.www.dw.com