India: Muslims worried as Hindus rally at disputed site

Chandigarh, India Thousands of Hindu nationalists on Sunday began to converge on the Indian town of Ayodhya to demand the construction of a temple at a site where 16th century Babri Mosque had once existed.

The latest event has triggered fresh tensions in Ayodhya city, with media reports claiming that several Muslims have left the area.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a rightwing group, had called a Dharma Sabha (religious congregation), in various parts of the country.

Security arrangements have been tightened in the town of Ayodhya former site of the historic Babri Mosque and the state government officials said additional security have been deployed at sensitive locations in the town to prevent any untoward incident.

The dispute over the site of the destroyed mosque in the ancient city of Ayodhya is a decadesold issue between Indian Hindus and Muslims which has resulted in thousands of deaths over the years.

In December 1992, Hindu extremists destroyed Babri Mosque, named after the Mughal Emperor Babur. The destruction prompted nationwide riots that left around 2,000 people dead.

Since then, Muslims have been calling for the building of a new mosque at the site, while Hindus have been demanding a temple, claiming their divine Lord Ram or Rama was born there.

The case over the dispute has been languishing in India’s legal system for years without any outcome. The Indian Supreme Court, which is hearing the case, has set the next date of hearing in January 2019.

Source: International Islamic News Agency