Tuesday, September 28, 2010

India Ayodhya mosque ruling expected later this week

The Supreme Court of India has cleared the way for a lower court to rule on the long-running Ayodhya dispute.

Last week it ordered the Allahabad High Court to defer judgement to give Hindus and Muslims more time to resolve the 150-year dispute.

The High Court is set to rule on who owns land where a 16th Century mosque was destroyed by Hindus in 1992.

Hindus claim the site in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of their god, Lord Ram.

The destruction of the mosque led to widespread rioting between Hindus and Muslims and some 2,000 people died.

It was some of the worst Hindu-Muslim violence since the partition of India in 1947.

Communal passions
The High Court was to have ruled on Friday on whether the site should be given to the Hindu community to build a temple or returned to the Muslim community to rebuild the 16th-Century Babri Mosque.

Correspondents say that the ruling is expected to be made before Friday, because one of the three High Court judges retires then.

India's home ministry has already warned that the legal decision is likely to evoke sharp reactions and communal passions.

The Uttar Pradesh state government has deployed thousands of extra security forces to deal with any law and order problems.

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