Ram mandir in Ayodhya: A detailed timeline from 1528 to 2020

Updated: 05 August, 2020 11:15 IST | Sunny Rodricks
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. Ahead of the grand ceremony, here's a timeline of the events in the Babri Masjid land dispute case that broke the social fabric of the nation.

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    Pre-Independence era: In 1528, the Mughal emperor Babur's commander Mir Baqi built the Babri Mosque. It is believed that Baqi destroyed the pre-existing temple dedicated to Lord Ram and built the mosque. Hundreds of years later in 1858, Mahant Raghubir Das filed a petition before the Faizabad District Court, seeking permission to build a structure next to the mosque. However, the plea was rejected.

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    Post Independence era: Two years after India attained Independence from the British, the idols of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita were found inside the mosque by unknown persons. The Hindus called it divine appearance and start offering prayers. After the discovery of the idols, two suits were filed before the Faizabad court by Gopal Simla Visharad and Paramhansa Ramachandra Das, seeking permission to worship the idols at the mosque.

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    The 1950s to 1990s: After Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit seeking possession of the site, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board filed another suit seeking possession of the site and removal of idols from the mosque. In 1985, a local court asked the government to open the site for Hindus to offer prayers. Four years later, the Allahabad HC ordered status quo on the disputed site. In 1990, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani started his Rath Yatra from Gujrat to gather support for the construction of temple at the site.

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    The 1990s to the 20th century: On December 6, 1992, the Babri Mosque structure was demolished by karsewaks leading to Hindu-Muslim riots across the country. Nearly a year after the riots, the Central government passed the 'Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act' to acquire land in and around the disputed site in Ayodhya. However, in the historic Ismail Faruqui case in 1994, the apex court said the mosque was not integral to Islam.

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    2001 to 2010:The 21st century marked the beginning of the Babri Masjid land dispute case. The Allahabad High Court began hearing the case to determine the ownership of the disputed site. In 2003, the Supreme Court barred all religious activities at the site. Seven years later, the Allahabad HC announced trifurcation of the 2.77-acre disputed land between UP Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla Virajman.

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    2011 to 2016: In 2011, the Supreme Court put a stay on the Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute. A few years later, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a plea before the apex court, seeking permission to worship and construct Ram Temple at the disputed site.

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    2018: The SC rejected the interim pleas of all parties, including that of Swamy, seeking to intervene as parties in the case. Advocate Rajeev Dhavan filed a plea in the court requesting it to refer the issue of reconsideration of its 1994 judgment to a larger bench which is denied. Later, the court formed a three-judge bench instead to hear the case.

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    January to March 2019: Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi constituted a five-judge Constitutional Bench to hear the Babri Masjid land dispute case. Two months later, on March 8, 2019, the Supreme Court-appointed a mediation panel headed by retired judge FMI Kallifulla for an out-of-court settlement.

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    October to November 2019: After the mediation, the panel failed to reach a civil settlement, following which the apex court began hearing in the land dispute case. The hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case went on for 40 days, post which the court reserved its order on October 15. The court then listed the Ayodhya title suit judgment for November 9.

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    The landmark judgment: On November 9, 2019, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ruled in favour of Ram Lalla. After a marathon 40 hearings, the bench delivered the historic judgment in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

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    The five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court directed the Central government to hand over the disputed site at Ayodhya for the construction of a temple and set up a trust for the same. It also asked the government to give a suitable plot of land measuring five acres to the Sunni Waqf Board.

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    While announcing the historic verdict, the apex court said that the faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the demolished structure is undisputed. It further said that the existence of Sita Rasoi, Ram Chabutra, and Bhandar grih are the testimony of the religious fact of the place. However, the SC bench also said the title cannot be established on the ground of faith and belief and they are only indicators for deciding the dispute.

    In photo: A model of the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya

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    The Supreme Court bench: The bench that delivered the historic judgment in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also comprised of justices SA Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, DY Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer.

    In photo: (From L to R): Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice SA Bobde, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

  • Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra: On February 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the constitution of 'Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra' to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

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About The Gallery

The laying of the foundation stone of the Ram mandir in Ayodhya, on Wednesday, will go down in history books. This moment comes after the Supreme Court bench delivered the historic judgment on November 9, 2019, in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. While Hindus across the globe celebrate this moment, here's how the case unfolded over the years.


First Published: 05 August, 2020 08:10 IST