India's Supreme Court issued a judgement on Saturday November 9th, in favour of a Hindu group, in what is a long-running battle over an old religious site also claimed by Muslims, in a verdict that could raise tension between the two communities, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ahead of the decision, India had stepped up security nationwide, and Modi called for calm, fearing the final ruling could again trigger decades-old Hindu-Muslim tensions and unrest, AFP has reported.
According to the Supreme Court ruling, the site in Ayodhya in northern India, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, will be handed over to a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple, subject to conditions.
In return, a separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to Muslim groups to build a new mosque in lieu of the destroyed one, the court ruled in a historic judgement, in a bid to end a bitter and legal wrangle dating back decades.
Riot police were deployed and schools closed in and around the northern city of Ayodhya, centre of the thorny dispute, and elsewhere.