India’s Supreme Court stepped in at the last minute to delay the issuance of a verdict that was to decide whether Hindus or Muslims had rights to a controversial religious site in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Indian government prepared extensively for the ruling on the Babri Masjid site, where a Hindu mob destroyed a mosque in 1992 sparking widespread rioting nationwide that left an estimated 2,000 people dead. Since then, the government deployed thousands of troops to the site, taken out ads in newspapers appealing for calm in the wake of the verdict, and officials asked the public to handle the verdict without knee jerk reactions.
Though there was a mosque on the site in 1992, many Hindus believe that the site is the birthplace of Lord Ram and that a temple once existed there.
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