Watch | What is the Places of Worship Act?

A video explainer on what the Places of Worship Act protects and if the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute comes under its purview

November 25, 2019 01:27 pm | Updated 01:32 pm IST

When the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute was at its height in the early 1990s, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu organisations also laid claim to two other mosques. The Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Idgah in Mathura.

A civil suit by a temple trust claimed the site of the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi. Security camps were added between Shahi Idgah and the Krishna temple in Mathura.

The P.V. Narasimha Rao government enacted in September 1991 a special law to freeze the status of places of worship.

The Act declared that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to be the same as it was on August 15, 1947.

It says no person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination into one of a different denomination or section.

The Act provides for imprisonment up to three years and a fine. But the law kept the disputed structure at Ayodhya out of its purview. Mainly because it was the subject of prolonged litigation and also to providing scope for a possible negotiated settlement.

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