India’s Supreme Court allows Hindus to build temple on disputed holy site

Ayodhya verdict UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked for two helicopters to be on standby to tackle any possible emergency

Ayodhya verdict UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked for two helicopters to be on standby to tackle any possible emergency

It further invoked Article 142 to provide the Nirmohi Akhara with representation in the proposed temple-construction trust despite rejecting its claim to the disputed plot.

Ayodhya residents were glued to their televisions and mobile phones for news of the ruling, which delighted Hindus when it came.

Legal experts believe the Supreme Court's observations in Saturday's judgment is unlikely to bear an impact on the criminal trial.

An attorney representing the Muslims deplored the ruling. "We will see the final judgment and decide the course of action", Zafaryab Jilani said.

US State Division Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus stated the US is following the announcement of the Ayodhya verdict. We do not need five-acre land as a donation.

While the Supreme Court did not set any limits to what a deity must look like⁠- and did not rule out that a land can be considered a deity⁠- the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the religious significance was not enough to claim a piece of land. At the same time, he appealed to members of all communities to maintain peace.

The apex court is expected to deliver its verdict before November 17. "Political parties will be doing a great disservice to seek political gains from this judgement", Kumar said. "It's a historic moment for Hindus".

He appealed to the Muslims to maintain peace and harmony in the country and asked them to not take the verdict as a "win or loss".

But the BJP, which used the matter to polarise people and reap electoral gains, did not support the party's proposals, the leaders said.

Hindus say the small patch of land where it stood is the birthplace of their revered god Ram, and the site has become a symbol of India's Hindu-Muslim divide.

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"The court accepts nearly all the arguments of the Muslim side but when it comes to pronouncing a verdict, they end up doing what has been the political objective of right-wing Hindu groups for the last 30 years, which was to destroy Babri mosque and build a temple on it", he added.

In a statement, the board expressed surprise that the court while accepting all the evidence put forth by the Muslim party, overturned its own argument at the end, by handing over the land of Babri Mosque to Hindus, exercising extraordinary discretionary powers.

He added, "The Supreme Court was conscious about the pendency of the trial and the impact of any observation in today's judgment".

The five judges started daily proceedings in August after mediation failed to find a compromise.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party has campaigned for years for a temple to be built at Ayodhya.

Meanwhile, ANI reported that Section 144 (prohibits an assembly of more than 4 people in an area) had been imposed in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The town looked deserted with authorities turning back thousands of Hindu pilgrims who were congregating for a religious event on Tuesday.

People traveling in cars and buses to Ayodhya were being thoroughly checked at security barriers as commandos took up positions in bunkers across the town.

Provincial police chief Om Prakash Singh told Reuters that precautionary measures were in place and social media platforms were being monitored to track inflammatory posts ahead of the verdict.

The Union home ministry is in regular correspondence with the state government and has provided 4,000 central paramilitary personnel for deployment in Uttar Pradesh, a senior official said.

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