Indian court hands disputed site to Hindus; Muslim group unhappy

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The ruling 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 Narenrda Modi's ruling Hindu-nationalist party who described the decision as a "milestone".

Giving their initial reaction to Saturday's ruling, Zafaryab Jilani, a lawyer for the Sunni Waqf Board said: "We respect the verdict, but we are not satisfied. we will go through the judgment carefully".

As the Supreme Court Saturday awarded the disputed land in Ayodhya to the Hindus, it also condemned the placing of idols inside the Babri Masjid in 1949, and its demolition on 6 December 1992.

A Hindu devotee waves an Indian national flag and celebrates a verdict in a decades-old land title dispute between Muslims and Hindus, in Ayodhya, India, on Saturday. It did not, however, determine whether or not a Hindu temple was demolished to build the Babri mosque.

Security was tight throughout the country, especially in Ayodhya, which is being patrolled by 5,000 police and paramilitary troops and processions have been banned. There were no immediate reports of unrest. "Archaeological Survey of India's credentials are beyond doubt and its findings can't be neglected", the Indian Supreme Court said.

He had earlier tweeted that the verdict should not be seen as 'a win or loss for anybody. Expressing surprise over the ruling, he said that "it is a matter of concern that evidences have not been proved".

Undoubtedly, the verdict will embolden the foot soldiers of Hindutva and send a message to India's minorities - particularly its Muslims - that religious triumphalism and violence tactics by the majority are condoned in modern India.

"In the short term, there will be a boost for the BJP", said Sircar.

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'These things don't work forever. "Ram Temple isn't going to put food on the table". The five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice SA Nazeer maintained the title suit of Ram Lalla and rejected the other petitions. The court has also ordered that five acres of land be given to Muslims at an alternative site.

Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad, however, said, "We humbly accept SC verdict, I am thankful to God that Muslims, by and large, have accepted this verdict and the dispute has ended now".

Appreciating the restrain maintained by the people following the verdict, BJP working president J P Nadda said his party saluted those who have unitedly preserved the social, cultural and spiritual fabric of the country.

Under Mr Modi, a former RSS cadre, Islamic-sounding names of several cities have been changed, while some school textbooks have been altered to downplay Muslims' contributions to India.

Restrictions were placed on gatherings in some places and Internet services were suspended.

"In exercise of the powers vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution, we direct that in the scheme to be framed by the Central Government, appropriate representation may be given in the Trust or body, to the Nirmohi Akhara in such manner as the Central Government deems fit".

The temple-building campaign gained pace when Hindu volunteers kept on pouring into Ayodhya to build the temple and knock down the Babri Masjid.

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