The Supreme Court on Saturday settled the seven-decade-long Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute with the historic verdict of awarding a Hindu group the ownership of a centuries-old religious site. It ordered the allotment of an alternative piece of five acres of land to the Muslims for a mosque.
The core of Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute lies in the belief that Lord Ram was born in a room located under what was the central dome of the Babri Masjid. The masjid was built on the orders of Mughal emperor Babur in the 16th century before its demolition by kar sevaks on 6 December, 1992.
Firstpost takes you through the timeline of events in this dispute that caused deep divisions and deadly riots between the two communities since decades.
1528: Mughal emperor Babur's commander Mir Bagi came to Ayodhya, and is believed to have destroyed the pre-existing temple dedicated to Lord Ram to build Babri Masjid.
1853: The first recorded incident of violence between Hindus and Muslims over the holy site took place during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. Nirmohis, a Hindu sect, claimed that a Hindu temple had been destroyed during Babur's times to build the mosque.
1859: The officials from British colonial administration erected a fence at the site to separate the places of worships. While the Muslims were allowed to use the inner court, the Hindus were allowed the outer court.
1885: Mahant Raghubir Das filed the first case, seeking permission to build a canopy on the Ramchabutra (a raised platform) outside the mosque. The plea was rejected by the Faizabad district court a year later.
1949: Lord Ram's idol appeared inside the mosque. Muslims claimed that the idol was placed by Hindu groups. Both sides file civil suits following which the government declared the area as disputed and locked the gates to the premises.
1950: Gopal Singh Visharad and Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das filed suits at the Faizabad court seeking permission to offer prayers to the idols in the janamsthan. While the inner courtyard remained locked, prayers were allowed.
1959: The Nirmohi Akhara filed a third suit seeking possession of the site and claimed to be the custodians of the Ram Janmabhoomi.
1961: The Sunni Central Board of Waqf filed a case against the placing of idols inside the mosque and claimed that the mosque and surrounding land was a graveyard.
1986: A district court ordered that the gates of the mosque be opened and Hindus be allowed to worship there, on a plea by Hari Shankar Dubey. As Muslims protested the move to allow Hindus to pray in the mosque, a Babri Mosque Action Committee is formed.
1989: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) laid the foundation of a Ram temple on the land next to the Babri Masjid. Justice Deoki Nandan Agarwal, former VHP Vice-President, filed a fresh suit asking for the mosque to be shifted elsewhere.
In October, the four suits that have been pending at the Faizabad court are transferred to a special bench of the High Court.
1992: The disputed Babri Mosque was razed to the ground by karsevaks on 6 December. This led to some of the most deadliest riots across the country which led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people. The central government, headed by PV Narasimha Rao, formed a commission of inquiry under Justice MS Liberhan.
2002: In an attack on a train from Godhra in Gujarat, believed to be carrying karsevaks to Ayodhya, at least 58 people were killed. Riots erupted across the state and about a thousand people were said to have been killed during it.
The High Court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to excavate the site and to determine if it was earlier a temple. In April, three HC judges started the hearing to determine who the site belongs to.
2010: The Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed land be divided into three parts—where one third will belong to Ram Lalla, represented by the Hindu Mahasabha; one third to the Islamic Waqf Board; and the remaining third to the Nirmohi Akhara. In December, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and the Sunni Waqf Board move the Supreme Court, challenging the HC ruling.
2011: In May, the Supreme Court stays the High Court order to split the land, stating that the status quo will remain.
2017: The Supreme Court said that the matter is sensitive and the rival parties should settle it out of court.
2018: In February, Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board questioned the court about the hurry and requested that the hearing to be put off till July 2019. In September, the Supreme Court declined to refer the case to a five-judge bench. In March, SC appointed a mediation panel headed by Judge (Retd.) FMI Kallifulla for an out-of-court settlement.
August 2019: The mediation panel failed to reach an amicable settlement. The top court began hearing the case on 6 August.
November 2019: On 9 November, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acre of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla. The possession of land will remain with the Central government receiver until a trust, as mandated by the court, is formed. The Supreme Court also directed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh govt to allot 5 acre land to the Muslims at a prominent place for building mosque.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 10, 2019 15:48:35 IST