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Mosque ruling allays fears of violence in India

9 years ago|228 views

A ruling over an Indian mosque has allayed fears of widespread ethnic violence in the country.

More than 200,000 police took to the streets to guard against trouble between Hindus and Muslims as the Lucknow High Court prepared to give its decision over the disputed holy site.

The 1992 demolition of the 16th century mosque in northern India by Hindu mobs triggered some of India's worst riots, which killed about 2,000 people.

There were fears a ruling in favour of the Muslim side would spark a violent backlash. But a 2-1 majority verdict gave two-thirds of the key parts of the disputed land to Hindus - one third each to two different Hindu groups - and one third to Muslims.

Muslims appeared to be the biggest losers. But Islamic organisations were measured in their response, careful not to inflame public tensions in a country where they account for only 13 per cent of the 1.2 billion plus population.

The verdict was handed down 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.