Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Ayodhya temple next month, in a highly anticipated ceremony at a holy site, which was once a 460-year-old mosque. The Indian Supreme Court ruled in November last year that a temple could be built in Ayodhya, where Hindu zealots demolished the Mughal era Babri Masjid [mosque] in 1992.
The ceremony is set for Aug 5, a date organisers said was astrologically auspicious for Hindus but that also marks a year since the Indian Parliament revoked the semi-autonomous status of Muslim-majority state, occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Hindus hard-liners have long contended that Mughal Muslim invaders built a mosque on top of a preexisting temple in the ancient city of Ayodya. A December 1992 riot following the destruction of the mosque sparked communal violence in which about 2,000 people were killed, mostly Muslims.