Graphic shows a brief timeline of the Ayodhya dispute.


بناء معبد هندوسي في موقع مسجد

August 6, 2020 - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for a long-awaited Hindu temple at the site of a demolished 16th century mosque in the northern city of Ayodhya.

Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony follows a ruling by India’s Supreme Court last November favouring the building of a temple on the disputed site in Uttar Pradesh state. Hindus believe Ram was born at the site and claim that the Muslim Emperor Babur built a mosque on top of a temple there.

The Babri Masjid mosque was destroyed by Hindu radicals in December 1992, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim violence that left some 2,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. The Supreme Court’s verdict allowed a temple to be built in place of the demolished mosque.

The court also ordered that Muslims be given two hectares of land to build a new mosque at a nearby site.

The temple, which is expected to take 3 1/2 years to complete, will feature five domes and have a total area around 7,800 square meters. The complex will also have a prayer hall, lecture hall, visitors’ hostel and museum.

Muslims comprise about 14 percent of Hindu-majority India’s population of 1.3 billion. The temple-mosque dispute badly divided Hindus and Muslims, often triggering communal clashes.

Prominent Muslims have said the community was resigned to the new reality but fear the new temple could embolden Hindu nationalists to target two other mosques in Uttar Pradesh.

PUBLISHED: 06/08/2020; STORY: Graphic News