SC paves way for temple at disputed site at Ayodhya, alternative land for mosque

NEW DELHI, Nov 9: The Supreme Court on Saturday paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple by a Trust at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a “prominent” place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh
In a bid to put an end to the more than a century old dispute that has torn the social fabric of the nation, the court in a unanimous 5-0 verdict ruled that the 2.77 acres of disputed land where the demolished Babri Masjid once stood will remain with a Central government receiver and be handed over
to a Trust within three months for the construction of the temple.
“The faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the demolished structure is undisputed,” ruled a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi weeks after a marathon 40-day hearing — the second longest in the history of apex court. Justice Gogoi is due to retire on November 17.
The verdict in the politically-sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, one of the most important and most anticipated judgements in India’s history, runs into 1,045-page pages.
The disputed site in Ayodhya was occupied by the 16th century Babri mosque which was destroyed by Hindu kar sevaks on December 6, 1992. The demolition had triggered communal riots.
The apex court bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said possession of the disputed 2.77 acre land rights will be handed over to the deity ‘Ram Lalla’, who is one of the three litigants in the case.
It said the new mosque should be constructed at a “prominent site” and a trust should be formed within three months for the construction of the temple at the site many Hindus believe Lord Ram was born
As security remained tightened at communally sensitive places across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a host of leaders who appealed for peace, unity and amity. He said the verdict should not be seen as anybody’s win or loss.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said the verdict should not be seen as anybody’s victory or defeat. The building of a Ram temple is a long-held objective of the BJP.
Home Minister Amit Shah appealed to all communities to accept the verdict and maintain peace and remain committed for ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh urged everyone to take the verdict with equanimity and magnanimity. The Congress said it respects the verdict and is in favour of construction of Ram temple.
Prominent Muslim leaders appealed for peace and harmony even as they expressed surprise.
“I was surprised to see the ruling and it’s beyond my understanding. I feel there were enough evidences in favour of the mosque but these were not taken into consideration,” Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, the current Mohtamim (Vice-Chancellor) of the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, told PTI
Prohibitory orders were issued across the national capital to maintain public order, according to Delhi Police while an emergency Operations Centre was set up in Lucknow to keep an eye on reports from media, social media and other sources on the verdict. (PTI)