The Supreme Court of India ruled today in favor of a Hindu group in a long-running battle against a centuries-old religious site, also claimed by Muslims, in a verdict that could create tension between the two communities.

The decision paves the way for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of Ayodhya, a city in the north of the country, a proposal long supported by the ruling Hindu nationalist party, led by Prime Minister Narenrda Modi. , who called the decision a "milestone".

The dispute over land ownership is one of the most controversial issues in the country. It ignited when the Babri Masjid mosque, which dates from the 16th century, was destroyed by Hindu intransigent in December 1992.

In their decision, the five-judge court, presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, rendered a unanimous judgment, choosing to surrender the land of only 2.77 acres (1.1 hectare) – about the size of the property. a football field – to one of the Hindu groups who had staked it claiming it.

The judge said that a temple for the Hindu god Ram should be built on the disputed plot by forming a trust under the control of the central government.

They also decided that a larger plot, of an area of ​​2.02 hectares, would be awarded to the Muslim community on a site near the city.

The Supreme Court of India ruled today in favor of a Hindu group in a long-standing battle over a centuries-old religious site, also claimed by Muslims. Pictured: Nirmohi Akhara leader, Dharam Das (center) and other people make gestures when they leave the scene after the announcement

The Supreme Court of India ruled today in favor of a Hindu group in a long-standing battle over a centuries-old religious site, also claimed by Muslims. Pictured: Nirmohi Akhara leader, Dharam Das (center) and other people make gestures when they leave the scene after the announcement

In their decision, the five-judge panel, presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, rendered a unanimous judgment, choosing to surrender the land of only 2.77 acres (1.1 hectares)

In their decision, the five-judge panel, presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, rendered a unanimous judgment, choosing to surrender the land of only 2.77 acres (1.1 hectares)

The judge said that a temple for the Hindu god Ram should be built on the disputed plot by forming a trust under the control of the central government

The judge said that a temple for the Hindu god Ram should be built on the disputed plot by forming a trust under the control of the central government

Prior to the pronouncement of the judgment, security was strengthened in Ayodhya and throughout India, particularly in cities that have suffered communal violence in the past.

Prior to the pronouncement of the judgment, security was strengthened in Ayodhya and throughout India, particularly in cities that have suffered communal violence in the past.

For more than seven decades, Hindu far right activists have been trying to build a temple on the site, which they believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

For more than seven decades, Hindu far right activists have been trying to build a temple on the site, which they believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

The verdict will be seen as a political victory for Modi, who won a second term in a landslide victory in this year's parliamentary elections.

"This verdict should not be seen as a victory or loss for anyone," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, adding, "Let peace and harmony prevail!"

For more than seven decades, Hindu far-right activists have been pushing for the construction of a temple on the site, which they believe to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god. Vishnu.

They say the site was sacred to Hindus long before Mughal Muslims, the most prominent Islamic rulers of India, built what was known as the Babri Mosque in 1528.

The mosque was razed by a Hindu mob in 1992.

The destruction of the mosque sparked religious riots in which about 2,000 people, mostly Muslim, were killed throughout the country and gave rise to a series of legal battles with different groups claiming the site.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - the mother organization of Modi's party - is pronounced against the celebration processions if the verdict is favorable to Hindus, in order to avoid provoking sectarian violence

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – the mother organization of Modi's party – is pronounced against the celebration processions if the verdict is favorable to Hindus, in order to avoid provoking sectarian violence

In some areas restrictions were imposed on rallies and police monitored social media to stop rumors that could fuel tensions between communities.

In some areas, restrictions were imposed on rallies and police monitored social media to stop rumors that could fuel tensions between communities.

The judge said that a temple for the Hindu god Ram should be built on the disputed plot by forming a trust under the control of the central government. We see devotees inspecting a model of the Ram temple proposed in the city

The judge said that a temple for the Hindu god Ram should be built on the disputed plot by forming a trust under the control of the central government. We see devotees inspecting a model of the temple Ram proposed in the city

Hindu fundamentalists scream and wave banners at the top of a stone wall and celebrate the destruction of the sixteenth century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 7, 1992.

Hindu fundamentalists shout and wave banners as they stand on top of a stone wall and celebrate the destruction of the sixteenth century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 7, 1992.

The Indian Supreme Court ended the October 16 hearing on the settlement of the land title dispute between Muslims and Hindus over the proposed construction of a Hindu temple on this site.

The Indian Supreme Court ended the October 16 hearing on the settlement of the land title dispute between Muslims and Hindus over the proposed construction of a Hindu temple on this site.

A statue of the Hindu god Rama stands on the Sarayu River in Ayodhya, India

A statue of the Hindu god Rama stands on the Sarayu River in Ayodhya, India.

Muslim organizations have called for calm to prevent community explosions. Pictured: Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard in the old city of Jammu, India

Muslim organizations have called for calm to prevent community explosions. Pictured: Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard in the old city of Jammu, India

The Supreme Court ordered that an alternative piece of land be provided to a Muslim group claiming the disputed site.

The site is highly protected since the religious clashes of 1992.

Prior to the judgment, security was strengthened in Ayodhya and in India, particularly in cities that have suffered community violence in the past.

In some areas, restrictions were imposed on rallies and police monitored social media to stop rumors that could fuel tensions between communities.

In some cities, Internet services have also been suspended to curb the spread of rumors.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – Modi's parent party organization – is pronounced against the celebration processions if the verdict is favorable to Hindus in order to avoid provoking sectarian violence.

Muslim organizations have called for calm to prevent community explosions.

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