Ayodhya Verdict

Published:  01:47 AM, 10 November 2019

'Mandir on site, mosque off site'

'Mandir on site, mosque off site'

The disputed land in Ayodhya will be given to a government run trust for the building a temple and Muslims will be given a five-acre "suitable" plot in the town, India's top court has ruled.

A five-judge constitution bench on Saturday delivered a unanimous verdict on the religious and political flashpoint that has cast a shadow on the country for decades.

The five members of the bench are: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Abdul Nazeer, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The landmark verdict came after a century-old legal wrangle over a piece of land in Ayodhya where the 16th century Babri mosque stood before it was razed by Hindu activists who believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram.

The destruction of the mosque triggered religious riots in which about 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed across the country and led to a series of court battles with various groups staking claim to the site. Hindu groups say a temple existed on the site before the mosque was built in 1528 by a Muslim ruler.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party has long campaigned on a promise to support the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of the razed mosque.

Ayodhya is in densely populated Uttar Pradesh state, home to more than 5% of India's 200 million Muslims. Provincial police chief Om Prakash Singh told Reuters that precautionary measures were in place and social media platforms were being monitored to track inflammatory posts ahead of the verdict.

"We will not tolerate Hindus or Muslims publicly displaying their reaction to the court verdict," Singh said.Muslim clerics in the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra called for peace meetings with Hindu leaders in communally sensitive areas ahead of Friday prayers.

Navaid Hamid, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the top forum for Islamic organizations, said thousands of Muslim religious leaders had vowed to maintain peace and harmony after the court verdict."The land can belong to Hindus or Muslims, but there will be no repeat of the 1992 communal violence," said Hamid.

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