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Ayodhya is a city and the administrative headquarters of Faizabad district (officially Ayodhya district) of Uttar Pradesh, India. It shares Municipal Corporation with its neighboring twin town of Faizabad. The city is identified with the legendary city of Ayodhya, and as such, is the birthplace of Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana.
Twenty seven years ago, The Babri Masjid was destroyed during a political rally which turned into a riot. A subsequent land title case was lodged in the Allahabad High Court, the verdict of which was pronounced on September 30th, 2010. In the judgment, the three judges of the Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2.77 acres of Ayodhya land be divided into three parts. The verdict was rejected by both sides and the case was taken to the Supreme Court in August 2019.
The Indian Supreme Court said, in the unanimous verdict, that a report by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) provided evidence that the remains of a building "that was not Islamic" was beneath the structure of the demolished Babri mosque.
The court said that, given all the evidence presented, it had determined that the disputed land should be given to Hindus for a temple to Lord Ram, while Muslims would be given land elsewhere to construct a mosque. It then directed the federal government to set up a trust to manage and oversee the construction of the temple. However, the court added that the demolition of the Babri mosque was against the rule of law.
Now, the court ruled that a mosque that had stood on the site since the 16th century, and was the basis of the Muslim claim to Ayodhya, was “not built on vacant land” and that the Hindu belief could not be disputed.
Fearing riots, political leaders from across India’s political spectrum have called for peace, while residents of Ayodhya city were banned from holding any events related to the temple.
“It is a historic judgment,” said Varun Kumar Sinha, a lawyer for Hindu Mahasabha, a right-wing party that advocated for the rebuilding of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. “With this judgment, the supreme court has given the message of unity in diversity.”
Zafaryab Jilani, the lawyer for the Muslim claimants, the Sunni Waqf Board, challenged the decision and said the board would meet later to decide whether to file an appeal. “We respect the Supreme Court, we respect the judgment, but we are not satisfied with this,” he said. “There are a lot of contradictions within the judgment. Five acres has no value.”