The 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya city by Hindu radicals remains the subject of a bitter dispute between Hindus and minority Muslims in India.

A protest against the demolition of the mosque by Hindu radicals. (File photo)
A protest against the demolition of the mosque by Hindu radicals. (File photo)

India's supreme court has called for an out-of-court settlement of a 25-year-old dispute over the demolition of the 16th century Babri mosque in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Its destruction by thousands of Hindu extremists in 1992 – who brought it down with spades, tridents, iron bars and their bare hands as government forces stood by watching – set off some of the worst riots seen in the country.

The event rattled the foundations of India's claim to be a multi-ethnic and secular democracy and has since been the subject of a bitter dispute between minority Muslims and Hindus.

Hindu radical groups believe the disputed location in Ayodhya city is the birthplace of the Hindu God Ram, and a temple must go up in place of the mosque.

"For the amicable settlement let both parties be presented with the terms and conditions and a settlement be arrived at. However, the Muslims are not ready for this," says Rajana Agnihotri, Counsel for Ram Temple Construction, which is leading the fight for temple construction.

Indirectly they are saying Muslims should surrender, if they will not surrender we will pass such a law. Therefore, there is no question of negotiations in such circumstances — Zafaryab Jilani, Convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee

Right-wing parties including the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have often raked up the issue to garner votes in local and national elections.

Despite the court's call for a settlement, each sides is holding to its existing position.

TRT World's Ishan Russell has more from Ayodhya, India.

Source: TRT World