An Indian Muslim group has said it will file a petition in the Supreme Court asking for a review of a ruling that awarded a disputed site in northern Uttar Pradesh state to Hindus, allowing them to build a temple there.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an umbrella body of intellectuals and organisations, said on Sunday it would seek a review of the judgement, which rejected Muslim claims over the land.
In a landmark verdict on November 9, India‘s top court ruled that a 2.77 acre (1.1 hectare) plot of land in the town of Ayodhya should be awarded to Hindus, who believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu.
The five-judge bench said Muslims will be given five acres of land at an alternative site in Ayodhya.
“There are apparent errors in the Supreme Court judgement, and we felt that it would be prudent to file a review petition,” Syed Qasim Ilyas, a member of the group, told a press briefing.
The main Muslim litigant in the case, the Sunni Waqf Board, has declined to file a review petition saying it respected the verdict.
The site in Hindu-majority Ayodhya has been the centre of a bitter dispute between India’s majority Hindus and Muslims, who make up about 14 percent of the population, since Indian independence.
A 16th-century mosque, known as Babri Masjid, had been at the site until December 6, 1992, when it was destroyed by Hindu mobs.
The country later witnessed some of the deadliest religious riots since independence, in which thousands of mostly Muslim Indians were killed.
Hindus believe that Lord Ram, the warrior god, was born at the site in Ayodhya and claim the first Mughal emperor Babur built the mosque on top of a temple there.
The Supreme Court verdict – announced amid heightened security across the country – was hailed by Hindus, but prompted a mixed reaction among the Muslim community in Ayodhya.
Some welcomed the decision, others rejected it, and there was a feeling of resignation – that Muslims had no choice but to accept the court’s decision.