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Saturday 9 November 2019

Court Gives Ayodhya Holy Site to Hindus


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NEW DELHI/AYODHYA (Reuters) — India’s Supreme Court on Saturday awarded a bitterly disputed religious site to Hindus, dealing a defeat to Muslims who also claim the land that has sparked some of the bloodiest riots in the history of independent India.

The ruling in the dispute between Hindu and Muslim groups paves the way for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site in the northern town of Ayodhya, a proposal long supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist party.

Representatives of the Muslim group involved in the case criticised the judgment as unfair and said it was likely to seek a review of the verdict.

In 1992 a Hindu mob destroyed the 16th-century Babri Mosque on the site, triggering riots in which about 2,000 people were killed across the country.

Hindus believe the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Indeed, the site was holy for Hindus long before the Muslim Mughals built the Babri mosque there in 1528. As a general rule, in conquered countries, Muslims either razed old temples to the ground to build mosques or turned them into mosques, as is the case with the Saint Sophia Church in Constantinople.

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