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Tensions Rise in Ayodhya

on 2000/12/31 8:48:02 ( 1494 reads )


AYODHYA, INDIA, December 18, 2000: Masons assembling the stonework for India's most controversial Hindu temple in Ayodhya near the demolished Babri Masjid have been ordered to finish their work by March 31. Babri Masjid was built after the temple marking the birthplace of Rama was destroyed by Muslims. Almost daily trucks arrive in the town's two dedicated Ram temple workshops bearing tons of Rajasthan's finest rosy sandstone to be carved to designs by the architect of the Swaminarayan temple in Neasden, North London. Here workmen squat on semi-finished pillars chiselling images of Ganesh, Hanuman and Goddesses, all under the careful eye of the the VHP. Officials make no effort to hide the preparations, showing where 21 foundation stones lie finished, grooved and numbered waiting only for the order to start assembly. Even as foremen told how their 50 craftsmen have already finished 60 per cent of the work -- including 106 of the 212 ornately carved pillars required -- a giant crane bearing "Victory for Ram" slogans swung another chunk of pink across to a circular saw.

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