Tag: Timeline

Timeline: Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute


Babri Masjid
Babri Masjid

The centuries old Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid dispute is one of the longest legal disputes in the history of human kind. It has made and marred the life innumerable people along the line. Here is the timeline:

  • 1528: During Mughal King Babur’s rule, a temple of Lord Ram was allegedly demolished and a masque was constructed by a general of Babur. He named it as ‘Babri Masjid’.
  • 1853: The first recorded communal conflict on this account flared up between Hindus and Muslims.
  • 1859: The British administration separated the worship places, allowing Muslims to use the inner court and Hindus the outer court. The head of Nirmohi Akhara approached the district court in Faizabad seeking permission for Hindus inside to pray to Ram Lalla. The plea was rejected.
  • 1949: Hindus reportedly placed Lord Ram’s idols inside the building, which led to protests by Muslims.  The government declared the site as disputed and locked the gates.
  • 1950: A case was filed in Faizabad by Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and Gopal Singh Visharad asking for permission to pray before the idols. Prayers were permitted though the gates remained closed.
  • 1961: Sunni Central Board of Waqfs filed a suit stating that the area surrounding the structure was a graveyard.
  • 1984: Vishwa Hindu Parishad spearheaded a campaign to build a temple for Lord Rama. BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani was in the fore front of the campaign.
  • 1986: District court ordered that the gates of the structure be opened to Hindus so that they can worship Lord Rama. The annoyed Muslims formed Babri Mosque Action Committee to protest the court order
  • 1989: VHP laid the foundation for the temple alongside the mosque.
  • 1990: BJP President Advani undertakes a Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya to create awareness about Ram Temple.  But he was arrested in Samastipur, Bihar by Lalu Prasad’s government.
  • 1991: The BJP formed the government in Uttar Pradesh.
  • 1992: The mosque was demolished by thousands of Karsevaks which led to nationwide communal riots between the Hindus and Muslims.
  • 1993: Centre formulated the Ayodhya Act and acquired the disputed land.
  • 2002: Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee set up an Ayodhya cell to facilitate talks between Hindu and Muslim leaders. His government also approached the Supreme Court seeking the ‘interim order that bans any religious activity on the disputed land’.
  • 2002: 58 Karsevaks were burnt alive while returning from Ayodhya, as the train compartments they were travelling in were set ablaze at the Godhra station in Gujarat.
A prototype of Ram Mandir which in circulation in the media
  • 2003: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook a court-ordered survey to find out whether or not a Ram temple existed at the disputed site.  ASI submitted the report before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court confirming the pre-existence a 10th-century temple beneath the Babri Masjid.
  • 2010: Allahabad High Court ordered the division of the disputed land measuring 2.77 acres into three parts, to be disbursed equally among the three parties in the dispute.
  • 2011: All the three parties approach the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling
  • 2017: Chief Justice of India JS Khekar suggests an out-of-court rapprochement; the parties were advised to resolve the matter amicably.
  • Dec 5, 2017: The SC hears appeals against the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad court
  • Feb 8, 2018: Congress leader Kapil Sibal, argued on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and requested the SC to postpone the case until July 2019.
  • September 2018: SC fixed the next hearing on October 29 by a newly constituted bench.
  • October 29, 2018: SC adjourns hearing to January 4, 2019.

So far in 2019

  • January 4: SC adjourns hearing to January 10
  • January 10: A judge from the five-judge Constitution Bench recused himself from the hearing. The hearing was rescheduled to January 29.
  • January 29: Justice SA Bobde from the five-judge Constitution Bench was on leave. Hearing postponed.
  • February 15: SC admits a fresh plea against the 1993 Ayodhya Act, under which the centre had acquired land surrounding the disputed site at Ayodhya.
  • February 26: The five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer expressed its preference for mediation to settle the case amicably.
  • March 6: SC reserves its order on mediation.