India court divided holy site between Hindus and Muslims

On September 30, 2010, an Indian court ruled that the disputed holy site Ayodhya must be split among Hindus, Muslims and Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect representing the Hindu deity Ram. The dispute over ownership of the site had been ongoing for more than 60 years and had resulted in tensions between the religious communities, leading to violence in the country. In 1992, a sixteenth-century Muslim mosque located on the site was destroyed by a mob, sparking riots that led to over 2,000 deaths. The court was asked to address several questions regarding the site, including whether a Hindu temple was destroyed in order to build the mosque, whether the site was the birthplace of Ram and whether ownership of the property could be established. The court determined that no Hindu temple was destroyed in order to build the mosque and that joint ownership among the parties had been established by their religious beliefs and over 150 years of Muslims and Hindus practicing their faiths side by side. The court also gave deference to the belief regarding the birthplace of Ram and allocated a courtyard near the previous mosque location to Nirmohi Akhara.


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