- Title: INDIA: Ayodhya braces for a politically charged Mosque row verdict
- Date: 30th September 2010
- Summary: NEWSPAPER READING 'DECISION ON AYODHYA AT 3:30 TOMORROW'
- Embargoed: 15th October 2010 02:21
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Domestic Politics,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA1G7CUSEV3DLVKIL28J863F4GW
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Residents of the holy Hindu town of Ayodhya on Wednesday (September 29) were anxiously awaiting a court verdict that will decide the ownership of a religious site where the razing of a mosque in 1992 sparked rioting between Hindus and Muslims that killed some 2,000 people.
The verdict will be announced by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday, September 30 in Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow.
The verdict date was announced after India's Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for a court in Uttar Pradesh to decide on the ownership of the Babri Mosque.
Hindus and Muslims have quarrelled for more than a century over the history of the Babri mosque.
Hindus claim that the mosque stands on the birthplace of their god-king Rama, and was built after the destruction of a Hindu temple by a Muslim invader in the 16th century.
The dispute flared up in 1992 after a Hindu mob destroyed the mosque and nearly 2,000 were killed in rioting between Hindus and Muslims across the country.
The verdict on ownership of the religious site was to have come on Sept. 24 from the lower court in Uttar Pradesh state, but the top court suspended that imminent verdict last week, responding to arguments that a chance should be given to reconciliation in the 60-year-old case.
The residents of Ayodhya said the decision would end decades of uncertainty. Lalji Mishra, resident of Ayodhya said the locals would abide by the court verdict - no matter in whose favour it went.
"The environment should be peaceful. I am thankful to the Supreme Court and I know that the result will be delivered in favour of the people of Ayodhya. The people staying in Ayodhya, whether they are Muslims, Hindus or priests, there are no differences among them. They all want to work together with mutual understanding," Mishra said.
A decision in favour of the Hindus would force the government to uphold the verdict, making it unpopular with the minority Muslims, a key vote bank. A ruling for the Muslims would mean that the government would have to push Hindu groups out of the site, a political minefield.
Security forces carried out flag march and beefed up security in Ayodhya town on Tuesday (September 28), as a precautionary measure.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had described the 60-year-old Babri Mosque-Ram Temple title suit in the country's northern state of Uttar Pradesh as one of the biggest challenges in India this year, appealed for calm and peace once the verdict is declared.
Residents of Lucknow city where the verdict would be announced said they will not let the events of 1992 replay in their streets.
"I would just like to say that we, the residents of Lucknow, are worshippers of peace and we are not bothered, whether the decision announced is in anybody's favour, we just want that peace should prevail. The brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims should be maintained. We have always been united as one; we will stay as one and will always try to be as one," said Aslam Ahmad, a resident of Lucknow.
Paramilitary forces along with the top police officials patrolled the streets to maintain law and order in the wake of the verdict.
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