Ayodhya verdict: India's top court orders alternate land for Muslims

FE ONLINE DESK | Saturday, 9 November 2019

India's Supreme Court has ordered an alternate land for Muslims, decreeing a disputed religious site to Hindus in the northern town of Ayodhya.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice, handed over the verdict on who should control the site.

The top court judges said the judgement was "unanimous."

The verdicts states that a suitable land measuring five acres (2.02 hectares) at Ayodhya should be given to Sunni Waqf Board.

On the other hand, the disputed land should be handed over to Hindus for the construction of their god Ram, it adds.

The previous day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the judgment "will not be a victory or defeat" for anyone.

In a series of tweets, he called on the people to give priority to strengthen India's tradition of maintaining peace and harmony, India media reports say.

In 1992, hard-line Hindus razed Babri Masjid -- an ancient mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya -- believing that the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

This triggered religious riots across India, leaving about 2000 people, most of them Muslims. A series of court battles also ensued with various groups staking claim to the site.

Ayodhya is in India's most populous Uttar Pradesh state, home to more than five per cent of 200 million Muslims in the world's seventh largest country by area.

Anticipating widespread violence there over the verdict, authorities have beefed up security with a deployment of more than 5,000 paramilitary force members and police.