South Asia

Fresh appeal against Ayodhya ruling

Muslim man reading newspaper with Ayodhya headlines
Image caption The case has dragged on for decades, from well before the destruction of the mosque in 1992

A second Muslim group in India has appealed against a ruling over the Ayodhya holy site, where a Hindu mob destroyed a mosque 18 years ago.

Allahabad High Court said the land should be divided, and the razed 16th century mosque should not be rebuilt.

The Sunni Wakf Board says the judgement was based on "incorrect assumption".

Last month the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind appealed against the verdict, saying it appears to be based not on evidence but on the professed belief of Hindus.

Hindus claim the Babri Masjid site is the birthplace of their deity, Ram.

"We feel the ruling was based on a number of incorrect assumption and the board considers it the right and obligation of Indian Muslims to challenge the judgment," Zafaryab Jeelani, a lawyer for the Sunni Wakf Board, told the AFP news agency.

The Sunni Wakf Board petition said the Muslims would not surrender their claim over the site in the northern Indian holy town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state.

The case - based on who owns the land - has dragged on for decades, from well before the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque in 1992.

The attack was followed by some of the worst religious riots in the country's history, causing thousands of deaths.

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