World Bulletin / News Desk
“We are in favor of talks, but they have to be monitored by the apex court and both parties should have equal status,” said Syed Qasim Rasul Ilyas of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a private body working to protect Muslims in India.
The dispute centers around a site at Ayodhya, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Babri Mosque was destroyed in 1992 by Hindus, who see it is as “Ram Janbhoomi,” the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram.
Hindus claimed that a Hindu temple had been destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Babur to build the 16th-century mosque at the site.
The mosque’s destruction lead to riots and the deaths of thousands over the years.
Muslims want the mosque rebuilt, while Hindus want a temple to Ram erected.
Twenty-five years later, the issue is still ongoing. India’s Supreme Court on March 21 suggested negotiations to solve the dispute.
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the suggestion, calling it the best way to resolve the longstanding dispute. However, the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee, a group separate from the AIMPLB, said attempts at out-of-court settlement have so far failed.
Two BJP leaders are currently facing charges over their involvement in the 1992 destruction of the Babri Mosque.
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