Hindu priest sets date for temple construction at disputed site in India

Source: Reuters

BY Krishna N. Das

PRAYAGRAJ, India (Reuters) – A powerful Hindu priest said on Wednesday he would lead a group of followers to start building a Hindu temple on the ruins of a 16th-century mosque, which could violate a court order and raise religious tensions in an election year.

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FILE PHOTO: A worker engraves a stone that Hindu groups say will be used to build a Ram temple at a disputed religious site in Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar//File Photo

A Hindu mob leveled the mosque in 1992, sparking communal riots that killed about 2,000 people across India. The site, in the northern town of Ayodhya, has been the focus of dispute between majority Hindus and minority Muslims for many years.

Hindu groups believe the site to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the religion’s most revered deities. They also point to evidence there was a temple there before the mosque was built in 1528.

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