Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 31822
Publish Date: 8:14 - 22 November 2018
TEHRAN, November 22 - When a Hindu mob tore down a centuries-old mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya 26 years ago, Haji Mahboob Ahmad says he and his family had to flee to a Muslim religious school miles away to escape deadly rioting.

Modi's backers step up holy site dispute as Indian election loomsTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - When a Hindu mob tore down a centuries-old mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya 26 years ago, Haji Mahboob Ahmad says he and his family had to flee to a Muslim religious school miles away to escape deadly rioting. 

In days of communal clashes that followed more than a dozen people were killed in Ayodhya and about 2,000 people across the country. Ahmad said when he returned to his house, about a mile south of the disputed site, it had been gutted by fire.

Now leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates are stepping up efforts to build a massive Hindu temple where the mosque once stood, and Ahmad and many of the other 5,000 Muslims still living in the town say they once again feel under siege.

“They’re playing a dangerous game in the name of Ayodhya,” Ahmad, a 65-year-old Muslim community leader, said as he sat beside his rifle-toting police guard. Ahmad has been getting round-the-clock police security since months after the riots.

Facing a general election by next May, and concerns about the impact on voters of low farm prices, weak jobs growth and the difficulty small businesses face in borrowing, BJP leaders are seeking to shore up support among the most devoted in India’s Hindu majority.

Ayodhya is in politically important Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with more than 220 million people and the most lawmakers in parliament’s lower house. The state’s BJP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, is a hardline Hindu priest.

The party made a near-clean sweep there in 2014, helping Modi win the country’s biggest parliamentary mandate in three decades, but pollsters predict a tighter contest next year. 

Source: Reuters

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