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September 26, 2020
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Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Indian PM Modi to lead temple construction ceremony

Devotees walk past pillars in the city of Ayodhya, IndiaImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Pillars which will be used in the construction of the temple

India’s leader Narendra Modi will later lay the foundation stone of a new Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya.

The site has been a source of tension between Hindus and Muslims, both of whom claimed ownership over it.

Hindu mobs demolished a 16th Century mosque there in 1992, saying it was originally a temple for one of their most revered deities, Lord Ram.

The Supreme Court last year gave the site to Hindus, ending a decades-old legal battle.

The court gave Muslims another plot of land in the city to construct a mosque.

The Ayodhya dispute, which goes back more than a century, has been one of India’s thorniest court cases, with the legal battle playing out over decades.

What has been planned?

Mr Modi is to lay a symbolic silver brick in the sanctum sanctorum, or innermost sanctuary, of the site as scores of devotees watch the event on giant screens across the city.

Indian TV channels will offer wall-to-wall coverage to the event.

Media reports say that devotees from across the country have been sending silver and gold – in the form of coins, bricks and bars – to use in the construction of the temple. Police officers are said to have been ordered to guard these precious metals.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Vikas Pandey explains the historic Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya holy site dispute

As many as 200,000 bricks inscribed with “Shri Ram” (Lord Ram) that have been collected from devotees over the years will be used to build the foundation of the temple, according to the Times of India.

Chandrakant Sompura, the chief architect of the proposed temple, told news website The Print that the structure would be designed in the “Nagara” style of temple architecture – a popular north Indian temple building style.

The inner sanctum of the temple – where the idol of the primary deity is housed – will be octagonal. The temple will include a large structure of three floors with 366 pillars and five domes.

Mr Sompura said that a memorial wall in honour of those who were involved with the temple movement would be erected.

What was the Ayodhya issue about?

At the centre of the row was a 16th-Century mosque that was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, sparking riots that killed nearly 2,000 people.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A skyline view of Ayodyha, India

Many Hindus believe that the Babri Masjid was actually constructed on the ruins of a Hindu temple that was demolished by Muslim invaders.

Muslims say they offered prayers at the mosque until December 1949 when some Hindus placed an idol of Ram in the mosque and began to worship the idols.

Over decades the two religious groups went to court many times over who should control the site.

What was the final ruling?

In its unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court said that a report by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) provided evidence that the remains of a building “that was not Islamic” was beneath the structure of the demolished Babri mosque.

The court said that, given all the evidence presented, it had determined that the disputed land should be given to Hindus for a temple to Lord Ram, while Muslims would be given land elsewhere to construct a mosque.

It then directed the federal government to set up a trust to manage and oversee the construction of the temple.

However, the court added that the demolition of the Babri mosque was against the rule of law.

Click Here to Visit Orignal Source of Article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-53577942

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