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Federation to keep Babri mosque land: India court

30 September, 2010

Federation to keep Babri mosque land: India court
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LUCKNOW: Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court dismissed appeal of `Sunni Waqf Board` by 2-1 majority in the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid case today, our sources reported Thursday.

The land will be divided into three parts, one-third portion will go to Hindus, another one-third to Muslims and the last one-third to the other, until then, the land will remain in the custody of the federal government.

The court said in its verdict the issue between the Hindus and Muslims should be resolved through negotiations between the two sides.

According to Indian media, the judges who gave the verdict tendered the resignation.

The controversial land of Babri Masjid will remain in possession of the federation, as the case of Sunni Board has been dismissed, according to media reports.

Hundreds of journalists from across the country converged at the District Magistrate`s office in Qaiserbagh area here to report on the verdict in the decades old Ramjanmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title suit.

Elaborate arrangements have been put in place and a special `pandal` that can accommodate 500 journalists and camerapersons has been erected right opposite the court premises.

Multi-layered security apparatus has been activated around the High Court premises where entry of persons has been restricted. Barricades have been put up on roads leading to the High Court.

Several shops and business establishments, which were open earlier in the day, downed their shutters as the time of the verdict advanced.

Inside the court premises, the passage leading to Court No. 21, where the verdict in the six-decade-old case was pronounced, has been cordoned off and entry has been allowed only to the parties to the dispute and their lawyers.

Heavy presence of police personnel was seen on the way near Court Nos. 18, 19 and 20 and the special Ramjanmabhoomi- Babri Masjid section near Court No. 21.

Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs made rounds of the Court No 21 before Justices D V Sharma, Sudhir Agarwal and S U Khan pronounced the verdict.

There was a large police presence in the DM office but journalists seemed to outnumber them as scribes armed with laptops and microphones were seen milling around the area waiting for the verdict.

Police were allowing entry to journalists inside the premises through a small gate at the rear side of the DM Office compound after checking the identity cards.

The destruction of the Babri Mosque at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, in 1992, demonstrated the power of religious fundamentalism in India, which prides itself on its democracy and religious tolerance.

Then, 150,000 Kar Sevaks, or volunteers, followed LK Advani and other leaders of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to Ayodhya, where they destroyed the Babri Mosque and electrified Indian politics for the two decades which followed.

In the immediate aftermath, riots claimed more than 2,000 lives in cities throughout India. In Mumbai, terrorists killed more than 250 people in a series of bombings believed to have been in retaliation for Muslim deaths in the post-Ayodhya riots.

Riots flared again in Gujarat in 2002 after Muslims burned alive 59 Hindus they believed were returning from desecrating the mosque at Ayodhya. More than a thousand people were killed in riots throughout the state.

The dispute dates back to 1853, more than 300 years after the mosque was built by one of Emperor Babur`s generals following their defeat of a local Hindu king.

According to Hindu campaigners, Lord Rama, one of their most revered deities, was born on the site, and an 11th Century Ram temple stood there until it was destroyed by troops loyal to Babur, the Muslim conqueror and India`s first Mughal emperor. The general, Mir Baqi, named the mosque in his emperor`s honour, but it became more commonly known as `Masjid -i-Janmasthan` – Mosque of the Birthplace – in acknowledgement of Rama`s birth there.

Since the first Hindu-Muslim clash was recorded over the issue in 1853, there have been intermittent protests and petitions by each side to establish their claim to the site.

The case which was decided at Allahabad High Court today was launched in 1992 and sought to determine the rightful title owner of the plot, whether the site was the birthplace of Lord Rama, and whether the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple.

End.

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