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India set to build temple at Babri mosque site

NEW DELHI (AA): All is set for the groundbreaking ceremony of the “grand” Ram Temple at the site of the demolished historic Babri Mosque in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone to mark the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s accomplishments of its two major poll planks — that is the annexation of Kashmir and construction of Ram Temple at the site of the mosque, claimed by Hindus as the birthplace of Lord Rama.

According to Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, a body formed to facilitate construction of the temple, all arrangements are in place to receive prime minister.

The local administration is also leaving no stone unturned to make the ceremony a success.

“All preparations for Aug. 5 are on to make the event a grand success. We are ensuring that SOPs [Standard Operating Procedures] are followed due to COVID-19,” an official from district administration told Anadolu Agency over the phone on condition of anonymity due to restriction on speaking to the media. The decades’ long dispute between Hindus and Muslims over the ownership of the site was settled by Indian Supreme Court last year in November when it handed over the site to Hindus and allowed construction of a temple.

The case pertained to a 16th-century mosque, which was demolished by a frenzied Hindu mob in December 1992. The court also directed authorities to allow a separate land in the outskirts of Ayodhya city to the Sunni Central Waqf Board to build a new mosque.Built-in 1528 under the rule of first Mughal Emperor Babur, the grand mosque along with a land of 2.77 acres became center of a dispute in the latter half of 19th century when a section of Hindus said it was the birthplace of King Rama, who is said to have ruled the region somewhere between 869,108 to 18.14 million years ago.

Hindus believe that Rama was the incarnation of god Vaishnava.

On court orders, the Uttar Pradesh state government has handed over a five-acre land to the Waqf Board on the outskirts of the city as compensation to build the mosque. The Board, which works under the government has decided to start the construction of the mosque soon.

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