Religious dispute verdict delayed
In a last-minute move, India’s Supreme Court decided Thursday to delay a lower court’s verdict in a case between Muslims and Hindus over who has the right to a controversial religious site.
The verdict in the 60year-old case was due Friday but will now be put off until at least Tuesday.
At issue is who own the land where the 16th century Babri Masjid mosque stood. The mosque, in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, was destroyed in late 1992 by a mob of Hindu extremists.
Shortly after the mosque in the town of Ayodhya was razed, religious violence broke out across India, killing 2,000. Since then, the incident has become a rallying cry for Muslims, including fundamentalists, in India, a majority Hindu nation.
Many Hindus believe the site was the birthplace of the god Ram and claim that a temple in his name was destroyed 482 years ago to build the mosque. Experts say the archaeological record is inconclusive.
The government has been bracing for the verdict for weeks, deploying thousands of troops.
In delaying the Allahabad High Court verdict, the Supreme Court said it would hold a hearing Tuesday to give the Hindu and Muslim communities a chance to settle out of court. mark.magnier @latimes.com Anshul Rana in The Times’ New Delhi Bureau contributed to this report.