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06 Dec 2019 | 04:15 AM UTC

India: Groups call for commercial shutdown and rally in Uttar Pradesh December 6 /update 5

Muslim groups call for shutdown and rally on Babri Masjid demolition anniversary December 6; heightened security presence and business disruption likely

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IND

Event

The All India Tanzim Ulama-e-Islam (AITUI) has called the Muslim community in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) to shutdown businesses on Friday, December 6, to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.

The AITUI is also expected to stage a rally along with other Muslim groups despite restrictions on large gatherings across the state. Other associated protests by Muslim communities are scheduled in the coming hours and days in various parts of India, including Delhi.

A heightened security presence, along with localized business and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the coming hours. Clashes between religious communities and the risk of violence 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 Ayodhya, 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.