The court in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India today ruled that the site of a demolished mosque in Ayodhya, would be divided between Hindus and Muslims, the Reuters news agency reported.

The court also ruled that Hindu idols could stay on the disputed land, lawyers added. The demolition of the 16th century mosque by Hindu mobs in 1992 triggered some of India’s worst riots that killed about 2,000 people. More than 200,000 police fanned out in India on Thursday to guard against any communal violence.

If the ruling soothes tensions, it would be a boost for the ruling Congress party, a left-of-centre group with secular roots, that does not want to upset either voter bloc. Major political parties had called for calm.

The verdict came only days before Sunday’s opening of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi with the government wanting to project an image of stability and modernity to the world.

In 1992 the demolition of the mosque by Hindu activists sparked riots that killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, and propelled India’s Hindu nationalists into the political mainstream.

Source: The Daily Mirror –