Babri Masjid: a timeline

On December 6, 1992, thousands of Hindu nationalist mobs tore down the Babri Masjid in the northern town of Ayodhya, in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). The demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid, which was constructed under the rule of the first Mughal Emperor Babar, triggered attacks against Muslims and genocides of Muslims in parts of India that continued for months. More than 1,000 people were killed.

1528- Babri Masjid is built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mugal emperor Babur

1885- The first case filed in January 1885 by Mahant Raghubir Das seeking permission to build a canopy outside Babri Masjid

1949- Idol of Ram appeared inside the Masjid. This leads to widespread protests and the government declared the site as disputed and locked the gates

1961- The Sunni Central Board of Waqf files a case against the placing of idols in the mosque, challenges claims that the building and surrounding land were once a graveyard

1984- VHP formed a committee to lead a movement for the construction of Ram temple in the site of Babri Masjid. LK Advani spearheaded the movement.

1986- Faizabad district court judge ordered the government to open the gates of Masjid for Hindus to offer prayers.

1989- Months before Lok Sabha elections, the Rajiv Gandhi government allows the VHP to perform shilanyas (laying of foundation stone) for a Ram temple in the Masjid’s site.

1990- BJP leader LK Advani began his Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya to gather the support for Ram temple. Advani and other Hindu militant leaders delivered hate speeches against Muslims across the nation. Lalu Prasad Yadav, chief minister of Bihar stopped and arrested Advani at Saamasthipur in Bihar.

1992- Babri Masjid is attacked and demolished by the hundreds of Karsevakas, the  Hindu militants. Attacks by Hindu militants killed more than 10,000 people across the country.

1992- Two FIRs filed in the case. One is against unknown Karsevakas and the other one is against BJP leaders LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bal Thackeray and other for giving hate speeches before the demolition of Masjid.

1993- Central government passed the act for land acquisition.

1993- Writ petitions by Ismail Farooqui and others are filed at Allahabad court challenging the act.

1993-  CBI filed charge-sheet accusing Advani and other Hindu nationalist leaders of conspiracy

1994- Supreme Court said in the Farooqui case, that a mosque is not integral to Islam

2001- Special CBI court drop the proceeds against Advani and others.

2003- Archaeological survey said there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but many archaeologists and Muslim leaders disputed the findings.

2004- CBI challenged the dropping of proceedings against BJP leaders in Allahabad High court

2009- The Liberhan Commission , constituted after the demolition of Masjid submitted its report. The key findings is that the deomoition was planned by several Hindu leaders including BJP leader LK Advani

2010- Allahabad High court dismissed the CBI’s plea , said that no merit in CBI’s revision petition.

2010- Allahabad High court , in a 2:1 majority, ruled three way division of the Masjid’s are between Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla

2011- Supreme Court stayed Allahabad High court’s verdict after both groups appealed against the Allahabad High court ‘s ruling.

2016- Subramanian Swami filed a plea in Supreme Court seeking the construction of Ram temple at the Masjid’s area.

2017- Supreme Court restored the criminal conspiracy charge against BJP leaders

2017- Special CBI court granted bail to all BJP leaders

2017- Civil rights activists filed a plea challenging the Allahabad High court’s verdict of three-way division of Masjid’s land.

2017- The Supreme Court commences hearing in the Ayodhya dispute.

2018- Supreme Court declined to refer its 1994 judgment to a five-judge constitution bench. Case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29. The SC decides that the land dispute case will only be listed before an “appropriate Bench” in January 2019.

2018-  Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray visited Ayodhya and vowed to come back if the temple is not built at the earliest.

2018- VHP organised Hunkar Rally in Ayodhya , seeking the support for the construction of Ram temple

2018- There is no evidence of a temple under the Babri Masjid, just older mosques, said Supriya Varma and Jaya Menon, the archeologists who has challenged the ASI’s 2003 findings.

2019- The Supreme Court sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the land dispute case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud. Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting Supreme Court to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench. SC reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.

2019- Supreme Court refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former Supreme Court judge F M I Kallifulla. Mediation team submits the final report to Supreme Court.

2019- Supreme Court begins day to day hearing. SC says it wants to wind up hearing by October 18

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