As the date of the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan nears, BJP veterans Murli Manohar Joshi (86) and LK Advani (92) are likely to attend the event via video conference on August 5, amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The veterans were the architects of the Mandir movement which led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. The event which will lay the foundation stone to BJP's long-cherished dream of Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be done by PM Narendra Modi and will see about 200 people attend the event.
Earlier on July 23 and 24, Joshi and Advani's statements were recorded by a special CBI court in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case, via video conferencing. Both leaders have denied all charges, while the CBI court completed recording statements of all 32 accused in the demolition case. The court is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the case to complete its trial by August 31 as directed by the Supreme Court.
On December 6, 1992 a rally had been allegedly organised in the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi area where the 16th century Babri Masjid stood - which attracted 1,50,000 kar sevaks. The rally - allegedly organised by the BJP & VHP - turned violent when kar sevaks attacked security personnel and demolished the mosque, causing wide-spread communal riots. In May 2017, the special CBI court charged BJP leaders L.K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti and others with criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case, as per reports, which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple slated to be built in Ayodhya on August 5. The Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra has invited 150 guests - including Home Minister Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, several other saints and social distancing norms will be followed. The trust has estimated that construction of the temple will be completed in 3-3.5 years i.e by 2023- the year of the Uttar Pradesh State polls.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) which will construct the temple will use Sompura Marbles and have started collecting soil samples to begin foundation work. As per L&T's design drawing, the temple is set to be constructed over two floors -spanning 161ft in length, 140ft in width, and 128 ft in height, comprising of 5 domes. The trust is planning to contact 10 Crore families across 4 Lakh localities of the country for fund collection. In November 2019, the Supreme Court had ended the seven-decade long land dispute, awarding the Ram Janmabhoomi land to the Hindu parties and offering an alternated land to the Muslim parties.