Ayodhya Dispute - Timeline

Timeline

Year Date Event
1528 The Babri Mosque was built in Ayodhya in 1528. Hindu groups claim it was built after demolishing a temple.
1853 The first recorded communal clashes over the site date back to this year.
1859 The colonial British administration put a fence around the site, denominating separate areas of worship for Hindus and Muslims. And that is the way it stood for about 90 years.
1949 In December of that year, idols were put inside the mosque. Both sides to the dispute filed civil suits. The government locked the gates, saying the matter was sub judice and declared the area “disputed”.
1961 Case filed in Indian courts against forceful occupation of the Babri Mosque and placing of idols within it.
1984 The movement to build a temple at the site, which Hindus claimed was the birthplace of Lord Ram, gathered momentum when Hindu groups formed a committee to spearhead the construction of a temple at the Ramjanmabhoomi site.
1986 A district judge ordered the gates of the mosque to be opened after almost five decades and allowed Hindus to worship inside the “disputed structure.” A Babri Mosque Action Committee was formed as Muslims protested the move to allow Hindu prayers at the site.
1989 The clamour for building a Ram temple was growing. Fronted by organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, foundations of a temple were laid on land adjacent to the "disputed structure."
1990 The then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani took out a cross-country rathyatra to garner support for the move to build a Ram temple at the site. VHP volunteers partially failed. Many were gunned down by the police on orders of the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, when they gathered in Ayodhya as participants of the Rath-Yatra and their bodies were thrown in the river Saryu.
1991 Riding high on the success of Advani's rathyatra, and annoyance at the previous regime's killings of the Kar Sevaks, the BJP became India's primary opposition party in Parliament and came to power in Uttar Pradesh.
1991 The movement for building a temple gathered further momentum with Karsevaks or Hindu volunteers pouring into Ayodhya. Bricks were sent from across India.
1992 6 December The Babri Mosque was demolished by Karsevaks. Communal riots across India followed.
1992 16 December Ten days after the demolition, the Congress government at the Centre, headed by PV Narasimha Rao, set up a commission of inquiry under Justice Liberhan.
1993 Three months after being constituted, the Liberhan Commission began investigations into who and what led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque.
2001 Tensions rose on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque as the VHP reaffirmed its resolve to build a temple at the site.
2002 27 February At least 58 people were killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on a train believed to be carrying Hindu volunteers from Ayodhya. Riots followed in the state and over 2000 people were unofficially reported to have died in these.
2003 The court ordered a survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram existed on the site. In August, the survey presented evidence of a temple under the mosque. Muslim groups disputed the findings.
2003 September A court ruled that seven Hindu leaders, including some prominent BJP leaders, should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque.
2004 November An Uttar Pradesh court ruled that an earlier order which exonerated LK Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.
2007 The Supreme Court refused to admit a review petition on the Ayodhya dispute.
2009 The Liberhan Commission, which was instituted ten days after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992, submitted its report on 30 June – almost 17 years after it began its inquiry. Its contents were not made public.
2010 30 September The Allahabad High Court pronounces its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute on 30 September 2010. Ayodhya land to be divided into 3 parts. 1/3 goes to Ram Lalla represented by Hindu Maha Sabha, 1/3 to Sunni Wakf Board, 1/3 goes to Nirmohi Akhara.
2010 December The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Waqf Board moved to the Supreme Court of India, challenging part of the Allahabad High Court’s verdict.
2011 9 May Supreme Court of India stayed the High court order splitting the disputed site in 3 parts and said that status quo will remain. The two judge bench of Supreme Court also remarked that the HC verdict was surprising as no party wanted a split of the site.

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