Ram Mandir: A timeline of the long-standing dispute

Ram Temple - Ayodhya issue: Here's a comprehensive timeline of what all has happened in the case.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 22, 2017 8:32 am
Ram Mandir, Ayodhya, Ram Temple, Ayodhya issue, Subramanian Swamy, Ram Mandir, babri masjid demolition, babri masjid, hindu-muslim, Ram mandir issue, ram temple issue, supreme court, JS Khehar, India news, indian express Ram Janam Bhoomi workshop in Ayodhya (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday described the Ram Mandir – Ayodhya as a “sensitive” and “sentimental” issue and suggested that it would be best if the contentious issue is settled amicably. The top court’s suggestion comes after BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy sought an urgent hearing on the Ayodhya dispute. It also called upon parties concerned to sit together to arrive at a consensus and asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31.

The issue dates back to 1992, when hundreds of karsevaks demolished the 16th century mosque in Ayodhya amid claims that it was the birthplace of Hindu deity Lord Rama and the mosque was constructed on the holy land of Hindus. It triggered widespread Hindu-Muslim violence. A number of senior BJP leaders, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, are accused in the case.

Hundreds of karsevaks brought down the 15th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992. (Express Archive Photo)

Here is a timeline showcasing the long-standing dispute:

1528: The Babri Masjid, a mosque in Ayodhya, was constructed by Mir Baki on the orders of Mughal emperor Babar. According to the Hindu community, it was built on the foundations of a temple which marked the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. This contention lingered on for several years.

1949Towards the end of December 1949, idols of Lord Ram appeared inside the mosque, allegedly put there by Hindus. It led to widespread protests and both communities filed cases, Hashim Ansari for Muslims and Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das for Hindus. The government declared the site as disputed and locked the gates to it.

1950: Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, the chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, and Gopal Singh Visharad filed suits in Faizabad, seeking permission to pray before the installed idols. The puja was allowed though the inner courtyard gates remain locked.

1959: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main parties to the dispute, and others filed a case and sought permission again to conduct prayers.

1961: Sunni Central Board of Waqfs in Uttar Pradesh filed a case claiming the mosque, and argued that the surrounding area was a graveyard.

1984: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad constituted a group to continue the movement as BJP leader L K Advani was made the leader of the campaign.

February 1, 1986: Faizabad district judge ordered the gates of the structure be opened for Hindus to offer prayers. Babri Masjid Action Committee was formed soon after this.

1989: The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi allowed shilanyas or a ground-breaking ceremony in an undisputed site close to the structure. The hearing of the case was subsequently shifted to the High Court.

September 25,1990: Advani launched a rath yatra (pilgrimage procession) from Somnath to Ayodhya to galvanise support for the issue countrywide.

November 1990: Advani’s rath was stopped and he was arrested in Samastipur, Bihar. Dissatisfied with the development, the BJP withdrew its support to the VP Singh government, triggering fresh elections. The saffron party made giant strides in the assembly elections by winning a majority.

December 6,1992: The disputed structure was brought down by kar sevaks and a makeshift temple was placed in its place. The PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government then moved court for status quo.

March 5, 2003: The Allahabad High Court ordered the Archeological Survey of India to excavate the disputed site in order to determine whether a temple existed where the mosque stood.

August 22, 2003: The ASI submitted its report to the Allahabad High Court, saying it had found features of a 10th century temple beneath the site of the masjid

August 31, 2003: All India Muslim Personal Law Board said it would challenge the ASI report.

July 26, 2010: The bench reserved its judgement and advised all parties to solve the issue amicably. But no one was keen.

September 8, 2010: The High Court announced that the verdict would be pronounced on September 24.

September 14, 2010: A writ was filed to defer the judgement but was subsequently rejected by the High Court.

September 23: The plea for an out-of-court settlement reached Supreme Court and the apex body said it would hear it again on September 28.

September 28: The apex court rejected petition for deferment and gives the nod to the Allahabad High court to deliver the judgement. The High Court chose September 30 as verdict day.

September 30: The Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict on the long-standing Ayodhya Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid issue and ruled for a three-way division of the disputed area, between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and the party for ‘Ram Lalla’.

February 26, 2016: The Supreme Court permitted BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to intervene in the pending matters relating to the Ayodhya dispute with his plea seeking construction of Ram temple at the site of the demolished disputed structure.

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  1. K
    KillemAll
    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:15 am
    timeline should start with the 10th Century re-building of a g temple at Lord Ram birthplace.
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      Ashutosh Rai
      Mar 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm
      Better Amicable Suggestion given by SC. to both community. lt;br/gt;Hindus live in more potion in India and Hindus are enled to it, therefore Muslim community should not be the objection in forming a Ram Mandir.lt;br/gt;If Muslims do so, their Lord Allah will be happy too.lt;br/gt;The Muslim community should agree to leave the objection. lt;br/gt;Muslim community believes in Hindu communism never raises any religion, as Hindu Generally respect to all all the religions.
      Reply
      1. A
        Avinash Makam
        Mar 21, 2017 at 8:39 am
        If Govt agency like ASI is not believed or given importance, then this case will not go anywhere. Sad that it happened.
        Reply
        1. A
          Anil Yadav
          Mar 21, 2017 at 9:16 am
          Is history of India starts only from 1528. History of Bharat is much older. What about the history before 1528 and before Mughals invaded India and what the genocide they carried out in India after invading India. Why are you not taking covering in your timeline
          Reply
          1. T
            Truth
            Mar 21, 2017 at 12:36 pm
            We should stop giving out large pieces of land to any religious group since they do not add value to the people who can continue to remain "devoted" whether or not such a landmark exists.lt;br/gt;What we really need is efficient public hospitals and educational insutes for developing the poor people !
            Reply
            1. K
              kg
              Mar 21, 2017 at 9:14 am
              "Built on foundations of Hindu temple" so what is the arguement?
              Reply
              1. K
                Kamal Pasha
                Mar 21, 2017 at 8:58 am
                India is a Hindu country like Nepal now.
                Reply
                1. P
                  Priyank
                  Mar 21, 2017 at 9:40 am
                  Ab Mandir banega
                  Reply
                  1. P
                    Priyank
                    Mar 22, 2017 at 5:02 am
                    How many major Temples in Saudi Arabia?
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      Pramod
                      Mar 21, 2017 at 8:52 am
                      by the way ASI officer who conducted this study and submitted report about 10th Century Temple was Muslim but without fear he provided all proofs of temple.
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        sarfaraj
                        Mar 21, 2017 at 10:18 am
                        Post your opinion...other countries are working on their progress and we Indians are fighting on issues like making Mandir or masjid .will Mandir or masjid will help in developing our country?
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          sharat Sharma
                          Mar 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm
                          Like many places the peace loving people have demolished many many holy Hindu temples that were built on Hindu land. Hindus took this abuse and now fed up of this peace loving people causing havoc all over the world. However, they are not doing the same kind of bad things, even when they have the ruling power. But getting back the things that they own is the right thing. So Building Ram Mandir among many such things is very fair.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            vasu
                            Mar 21, 2017 at 9:23 am
                            Mecca for Muslims, Vatican for Christians, Jerum for Jews, Amritsar for Sikhs and dispute for Hindu? show how tolerant Hindus are...
                            Reply
                            1. E
                              eshwar
                              Mar 21, 2017 at 9:21 am
                              Muslim ruler built masjid on the site where Lord Ram temple exists. Clearly, the masjid construction itself is illegal. India is a secular country and this issue can be solved amicably. The judgement should favor Ram temple as it has been there before the construction of masjid. So, masjid can be rebuilt at another site. So, Reconstruction of Ram temple at the original site and masjid at another site is the best and most amicable answer to the issue.
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                vasoo kamulkar
                                Mar 21, 2017 at 12:52 pm
                                The contention is not that the Babari mosque was built on the Hindu temple. The Archaeological Survey of India ASI has found after the excavation that there was the evidence that the Ram --or other Hindu deity—temple DID exist on the very spot, where the mosque was built by Mir Bakee. This proves that the Hindu temple was DEMOLISHED under the instruction of the alcohol-addict Arabic invader Babar.
                                Reply
                                1. Z
                                  Zenzo Kurita
                                  Mar 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm
                                  There should give w disputed land for Ram Jamn Bhumi Mandhir, and there shloud build Mosque at other place.
                                  Reply
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