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    Indian Supreme Court to Hear Most Controversial Legal Battle Since Country's Independence

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Supreme Court of India has agreed to extend the deadline until the 31st of July for a three-member panel to submit its report on the controversial Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case. The panel, set up by the top court, had sought an extension to submit its report for an out-of-court settlement of the decades-long case.

    The court, during its next hearing on the case, slated for the 2nd of August, will decide the course of the case, including a day-to-day hearing, for a final resolution.

    At the centre of the dispute is a piece of land in Ayodhya, Faizabad district of northern Uttar Pradesh, 700 miles from New Delhi, claimed by both Hindus and Muslims. Hindus consider this to be the exact place of the birth of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

    A mosque had existed at this place since 1528, which Hindus believe was built on the exact birth-spot of Lord Ram. In 1949, some Hindus installed an idol of Ram inside the disputed structure, leading to its seizure by the authorities. In 1989, both Hindu and Muslim groups filed cases with the Allahabad High Court claiming the land, setting in motion a long and drawn-out judicial battle, considered to be the most vexing and sensitive since the country's independence from British colonial rule.

    However, in 1992 a group of Hindu zealots razed the mosque to ground, leading to communal riots in the country, leading to the deaths of almost 2,000 people.

    A Ram Temple at Ayodhya was the springboard from where the present national ruling Bharatiya Janta Party had emerged as a major political force in India. Lal Krishna Advani, the then president of BJP took out a two-month-long Ram Rath Yatra – a chariot rally in 1990 to campaign to erect a temple on the site. BJP made the Ram Temple a major poll platform starting in 1991 and came to power in Uttar Pradesh.

    The BJP in its poll manifesto during the 2014 elections to the Lok Sabha, which brought Narendra Modi to power, had promised to “explore all possibilities within the framework of the constitution” for the construction of the temple.

    The court had referred the case to mediation in March 2019 to find an amicable solution to the decades-long dispute.


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