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In City of ‘Mother of All Clashes’, Hindus Donate Land for Muslim Graveyard

Representational Image - A Muslim graveyard

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh July 11— A city, identified by many as having ‘the mother of all communal clashes’ in India, has now sent a gesture that could ease tension between Hindus and Muslims across the country. Hindus in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya district have donated a piece of land to Muslims for a burial ground.

The land has been donated in Belarikhan village under the Gosaiganj Assembly constituency in Ayodhya – the city where Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute has been lingering in court for several decades. The dispute has altered the political narratives in the country and has also led to several communal clashes.

According to the IANS news agency, the land had been a bone of contention between the two communities for past several years. Surya Kumar Jhinkan Maharaj, a local seer, and eight other shareholders, signed the registered deed for 1.25 bissas of land on June 20 to bury the dispute forever.

The other signatories to the land deed are Ram Prakash Bablu, Ram Singar Pandey, Ram Shabad, Jiya Ram, Subhash Chandra, Rita Devi, Vindhyachal and Awadhesh Pandey.

“The land belonged to Hindus as per records. It is by the side of a graveyard and some Muslims have buried their dead on the land. There were disputes and tension. But now, we have settled the matter,” Jhinkan Maharaj was quoted as saying by IANS.

The deed is now in favour of the Qabristan Committee, Gosainganj and it will soon be entered in revenue records,” said Vais Ansari, President of the Qabristan Committee.

A Brief about Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Dispute:

Babri Masjid was constructed in 1527 – during the Mughal period. The dispute started during the British period when it was said that the mosque was built after demolishing temples. The Hindu community claimed that the spot where the mosque was constructed was the birthplace of their Lord Rama. However, despite the arising of the dispute, Muslim prayers continued to be offered in the mosque till December 23, 1949 when in the dark hours some Hindu idols were installed in it. Local Muslims reported the incident to the police and consequently the mosque was locked and a title suit was filed in the court. In the 1980s, it was unlocked and Hindu prayers were allowed in it. On December 6, 1992, defying the orders of the country’s top court Supreme Court, a huge Hindu crowd was assembled in Ayodhya and the mosque was razed to the ground and a makeshift temple was erected on the debris of the mosque. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ordered trifurcation of the disputed land among Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Muslim Waqf Board. None of the parties accepted the verdict and they challenged it in the Supreme Court where it is still pending.