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Christians urge caution amid Ayodhya fallout

Ritu Sharma, New Delhi

Ritu Sharma, New Delhi

Updated: October 08, 2010 09:00 AM GMT
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India’s home ministry issued a security advisory for all states to go on high alert ahead of the Sept. 30 ruling
India’s home ministry issued a security advisory for all states to go on high alert ahead of the Sept. 30 ruling
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Church people have called for caution as Muslim and Hindu groups plan their next moves in response a recent court ruling on a disputed religious site in northern India that has left both sides dissatisfied. The Uttar Pradesh High Court on Sept. 30 hoped to resolve the controversy by allotting two thirds of the land to two Hindu groups and the rest to a Muslim foundation. But the Sunni Central Waqf Board announced on Oct. 6 that it would appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Hindu world council), a rightwing group, meanwhile has refused to accept the land division as it wants the entire site to build a grand temple at Ayodhya. Church people want the two groups to abide by the court verdict to ensure peace. John Dayal, secretary general of the ecumenical All India Christian Council, says Muslims “have to appeal since their plea for the ownership of the land was rejected by the High Court. The Hindu groups, he added, have always demanded the entire land. Father Babu Joseph, spokesperson of the Indian bishops’ conference, wants all concerned parties to abide by the court verdict. He says the two warring groups should not take the nation on the Ayodhya issue. “The signals after the verdict were encouraging,” he said. The country was put on high alert days before the High Court verdict. Sister Mary Scaria, secretary of the Indian bishops’ commission for law and public interest litigation, says the VHP’s stand is not justified. The Charity of Jesus and Mary nun also said, “Muslims should be compensated properly.” The issue is about the ownership of a 28-hectare plot in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state where a disputed 16th-Century mosque once stood. Hindu zealots demolished it in 1992, saying Mogul emperor Babur built it after demolishing a Hindu temple. Hindus revere Ayodhya as the birthplace of their Lord Ram. Related reports Upcoming verdict on religious site worrying Religious Leaders Call For End To ´Ayodhya´ Anniversary Observances Hindus Demand Reconstruction of Temples Damaged after December 1992 IC11493.1622

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