On Saturday, October 12, authorities have tightened security restrictions previously imposed in the city of Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) on Saturday, August 31. The measures, which include a ban on public gatherings of more than four people, the use of drones, firecrackers, and any object that can be weaponized, are expected to last until Tuesday, December 10.
The restrictions have been put in place ahead of a Supreme Court verdict, expected in November, regarding the disputed religious site of Babri mosque, which could spark clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities. Upcoming religious festivals, as well as the Babri mosque demolition anniversary on Friday, December 6, are likely to raise tensions between the two communities in the coming months.
An increased security presence is likely in the area in the coming weeks and months.
The Babri mosque is considered as an important religious site by both Muslim and Hindu communities, and is believed by the latter to be the birth place of Rama, a Hindu deity. Both communities are demanding that a new religious site is built.
In 1992, violent clashes broke out between Hindu and Muslim communities across the country following the razing of Babri mosque by Hindu mobs. Around 2000 people were killed in related religious violence and riots. Hindu and Muslims groups have failed to resolve the dispute through negotiation and both contested the 2010 Supreme Court decision to share the site.
Individuals in Ayodhya are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public gatherings, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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