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04 Dec 2019 | 08:55 PM UTC

India: Increased security measures in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad during Babri Masjid demolition anniversary December 5-6 /update 3

Supreme Court rules in that a Hindu temple will be built at the disputed Ayodhya religious site on November 9; associated protests possible

security
IND

Event

District authorities in Uttar Pradesh state have said that there will be a heightened police presence in Mathura and Aligarh districts from 00:01 (local time) on Thursday, December 5, through Friday, December 6, in conjunction with the anniversary of the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid. Police in Hyderabad (Telangana state) have ordered the restriction of large gatherings from 18:00 on Thursday through to 06:00 on Friday, following intelligence on potential disturbances. It is unclear as of Thursday whether groups appealing the Supreme Court's November 9 ruling will observe or organize any events commemorating the day. However, a member of the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind group has reportedly said that the group plans to observe the day but did not immediately provide any specific details.

Associated protests by Muslim communities are possible in the coming hours and days in various parts of India. A heightened security presence is expected, and localized transportation disruptions are anticipated should protests take place. Violent clashes between religious communities cannot be ruled out.

Context

The Babri mosque is considered as an important religious site by both Muslim and Hindu communities, and is believed by the latter to be the birth place of Rama, a Hindu deity.

In 1992, violent clashes broke out between Hindu and Muslim communities across the country following the razing of Babri mosque by Hindu mobs. Around 2000 people were killed in related religious violence and riots. On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hindu groups to build a temple on the land, and ordered the state government to give the Sunni Waqf Board a separate plot of land to build a mosque on.

Advice

Individuals in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad states, and in India more generally, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public gatherings and discussing sensitive political topics in public, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.