October 16, 2019
India's Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi on Wednesday asked the parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case to present their concluding arguments today by 5pm (local time), reported Times of India.
“Enough is enough,” he said, dismissing the intervention application filed by the Hindu Mahasabha party in the Indian Supreme Court seeking more time for arguments.
“By 5pm, this matter is going to be over,” said Gogoi, who heads the five-judge constitution bench hearing the decades-long case, reported Hindustan Times, to decide whether a Hindu temple should be built on the ruins of a mosque. Wednesday marks the 40th day since the hearing began.
According to NDTV, the three-member Ayodhya mediation panel is likely to file its report on the second round of mediation today. The court is expected to announce a verdict before Gogoi leaves office on November 17.
India barred public gatherings in the town of Ayodhya as the Supreme Court started hearing final arguments on Monday.
For over a century, Hindus and Muslims have been in a tussle over Babri mosque in Ayodhya in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Hindus claim the mosque was the birthplace of Lord Ram and was built after the destruction of a temple by Muslim invader Babur in 1528.
On the other hand, Muslims say they offered prayers at the mosque until December 1949, when some idols of Lord Ram were placed in the mosque. British rulers fenced the area as early as 1859 to as a preemptive measure and the government of India locked its gates in 1949.
On December 6, 1992, the mosque was razed to the ground by a mob of thousands, triggering riots and violence that killed over 2,000 people in India.
Hindu and Muslim groups have failed to resolve the dispute through negotiations over the years, and a court decision in 2010 to divide the 2.77-acre site between one Muslim group and two Hindu groups was opposed by both sides.
The Supreme Court then took control of the site and has been hearing petitions from both sides over what should be built there.