Cabinet ministers meet Hindu leader over India's disputed Muslim site

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

NEW DELHI, India (AP) Two Indian cabinet ministers met a Hindu religious leader Sunday, attempting to settle a bitter dispute over the site of a 16th century Muslim mosque that was destroyed by Hindu hard-liners, the Press Trust of India reported.

Hindu activists tore down the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in 1992. Afterward, some 2,000 people were killed in nationwide Hindu-Muslim clashes.

Newspaper reports say an unreleased compromise would have Muslims give up their claim to the Ayodhya site, which Hindus consider the birthplace of the god Rama. Muslims say there's no proof of that. In return, Hindus would give up sites claimed by Muslims in Varanasi and Mathura.

Muslim leaders are scheduled to consider the proposal July 6.

Meanwhile, the High Court in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state, has given government archaeologists until next week to determine whether a temple existed at the site of the Ayodhya mosque.

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