The mediation process in the sensitive Muslim-Hindu dispute concerning Babri mosque in northern India have failed, the country’s Supreme Court said on Friday.
The dispute involves the 16th-century Babri mosque in the city of Ayodhya which was razed in 1992 by Hindu activists. The demolition of the mosque sparked nationwide riots that left around 2,000 people dead.
Muslims demand a new mosque at the site, while Hindus claim that this was where their god Ram was born, demanding instead a temple at the site.
Read more: “No Mosque is safe in India”
A three-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court was tasked to hold consultations with relevant parties in order to resolve the Babri Mosque dispute.
With the deadline to submit the final report to the Supreme Court ended on Thursday, according to local daily Indian express, the panel informed all participants that “the mediation had not been successful and the proceedings have been formally closed”.
The apex court on Friday said that it would commence day-to-day hearing of the appeals against the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court on the disputed site on Aug. 6, according to local broadcaster NDTV.
In September 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled that two-thirds of the disputed site would be handed over to Hindu groups, while the remaining area would be given to Muslims.
Background of the Babri Mosque dispute
The Babri Mosque is said to have been built by Mir Baqi, an officer in the court of Mughal Emperor Babur in 1526.
In 1885, a Hindu religious body filed a case in Faizabad district court, claiming that the site was birthplace of Hindu deity Lord Rama.
In 1949, a group of Hindus entered the premises and installed an idol of the Rama. Declaring the area disputed land, the then-government locked the premises, with the idol remaining inside.
The district administration of Faizabad, which administers the city of Ayodhya, opened the premises to Hindus in 1986, allowing them to carry out rituals.
In Dec 1992, thousands of activists belonging to extremist Hindu groups along with leaders of currently ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stormed the city and allegedly demolished the historic mosque, erecting a makeshift Hindu temple at its place.
The Babri mosque dispute has been languishing in India’s legal system for past 70 years, with no final outcome in sight.
AFP with additional input from GVS News Desk