A 125-year-old Hindu-Muslim dispute that repeatedly frayed India's secular fabric was sought to be settled on Sept 30, with a court ruling that the place where the Babri mosque in Ayodhya stood before it was razed by Hindu mobs in 1992 was indeed the birthplace of Ram revered by millions.
A three-judge bench, comprising a Muslim and two Hindus, of the Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench ruled by majority that a Ram temple had been destroyed to build the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in the 16th century and so the mosque violated Islamic tenets.
But judges S.U. Khan, D.V. Sharma and Sudhir Agarwal ruled that the entire disputed land in Ayodhya, a riverside town in Uttar Pradesh which for decades became synonymous with Hindu-Muslim tensions, should be divided among the Sunni Waqf Board, Hindus and the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect who were among those who fought the court battle.
Image: Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans guarding a street near Minara Masjid in South Mumbai on the day of Ayodhya verdict on September 30, 2010. (Photograph copyright PTI)Verdict: Ayodhya to be shared