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No out-of-court settlement for Ayodhya case

Last updated on: September 17, 2010 15:23 IST

No out-of-court settlement for Ayodhya case

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Vicky Nanjappa

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday refused to defer its verdict on the title suit of the disputed site at Ayodhya.

The long pending case is about the ownership of the Ayodhya land to which Hindus and Muslims have been making rival claims over the past one and a quarter century.

The court dismissed an application seeking an out-of-court settlement of the Ayodhya title suit, which was filed a couple of days ago. It also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, who had sought a court order directing both parties to settle the matter out-of-court or even take the matter into arbitration, as the fallout of this verdict could be violent.


Image: A file photograph of 'karsevaks' at the Babri Masjid in December 1992
Photographs: Sunil Malhotra/Reuters
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While Hindus claim that the land is the site of the birthplace of their most revered Lord Ram, Muslims assert their right over the same as the site of a 16th century mosque, claimed to have been built by Mughal emperor Babur in the ancient town of Ayodhya, nearly 120 km from Lucknow.

The Babri Masjid at the site was razed on December 6, 1992, by karsevaks and right-wing extremists who claimed that it was the Ram Janmabhoomi site. The Babri Masjid demolition had triggered unprecedented communal riots, which had claimed thousands of lives.


Image: A protest against the Babri Masjid demolition in New Delhi

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No out-of-court settlement for Ayodhya case

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Meanwhile, both the Union and state governments are taking no chances and have beefed up security. There are nearly 1.5 lakh security personnel patrolling the streets of Uttar Pradesh and nearly 1500 policemen have been stationed around the high court complex, which is scheduled to deliver the verdict.

Both the central and state governments have appealed for peace. Leaders from both teh communities too have appealed for peace and said that violence should be avoided at any cost.


Image: A road sign indicating the entry point to Ayodhya in Faizabad district

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There has been hectic activity at the village-level, meanwhile. The Ram Janambhoomi Hanuman Samiti of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has embarked upon a rural tour urging the people to take up the cause of building the temple if the verdict is favourable. An SMS campaign to this effect has also started.

The Babri Masjid Action Committeee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has submitted an application now stating that they would want the verdict to be delivered and are not in favour of an out-of-court settlement.

Image: A policeman stands guard outside a temple in Ayodhya
Photographs: Reuters
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