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India: Officials Elevate Security in Ayodhya Ahead of Court Ruling on Religious Site

1 MIN READOct 14, 2019 | 14:39 GMT

What Happened: Indian authorities have tightened security restrictions in the northern town of Ayodhya ahead of a Supreme Court ruling over a contested religious site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims, Al Jazeera reported Oct. 14. The court will decide whether a Hindu temple can be built over the area of the former Babri Mosque, which was demolished in 1992.

Why It Matters: The court's decision, which is expected before Nov. 17, could spark significant unrest and violence in the area. If the court rules that the construction of a Hindu temple can proceed, local jihadist militants will likely exploit the verdict to expand their footprint in India.

Background: Building a Hindu temple on the grounds of the former Babri Mosque is one of the core demands of the Hindu nationalist movement, which also sought to abolish the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.

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