History of Ayodhya Dispute (1528-2010)

The Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya has been a flashpoint of violence between Hindus and Muslims for decades. Here’s a look at the troubled history of the disputed holy site.
A cross-section of the Hindu community believes that in the 12th century, a temple is built in honour of Lord Rama in Ayodhya.
The Babri Mosque is build by Babar’s general, Mir Baqi, on the orders of the Mughal leader Babur post destruction of the Ram Mandir.
First recorded Hindu-Muslim clashes at the site.
The British administration erects a fence to separate the places of worship, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.
Idols of Lord Rama appear inside mosque allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims protest, and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.
Spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party, Hindus form a committee to liberate the disputed site and build a Ram temple there. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani takes over leadership of campaign.
District judge orders the gates of the Babri mosque to be opened to allow Hindus to worship there. In protest, Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee.
VHP steps up their campaign to construct the Ram Mandir, laying the foundations on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.
VHP activists partially damage the mosque, Prime minister Chandra Shekhar tries to resolve the dispute through negotiations. L K Advani takes out a rath yatra to build the Ram temple.
The mosque is demolished by the supporters of VHP, Shiv Sena and BJP, stirring up nationwide riots between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people die.
Government announces the setting up of the justice MS Liberhan commission to inquire into the conspiracy to demolish the Babri mosque.
Tensions rise on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. VHP pledges again to build Hindu temple at the site.
Vajpayee sets up an Ayodhya cell and appoints a senior official, Shatrughna Singh, to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders.
VHP confirms deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers converge on site. At least 58 people are killed in an attack on a train in Godhra, which is carrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.
Between 1,000 and 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, die in riots in Gujarat following the train attack.
Three High Court judges begin hearings on determining who owns the religious site.
Archaeologists begin a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Rama existed on the site. The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims dispute the findings.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee says at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans that he will fulfil the dying man’s wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya.
LK Advani says the BJP still has unwavering commitment to building a temple at Ayodhya, which he said was inevitable.
September, 2005
The Union government extends the term of the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission by three months.
April, 2007
S C dismisses a petition seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the centre, the state of UP and others for violating the Court’s order of 1992 directing status quo on the disputed land following demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
October, 2007
Fifteen persons, including a lawyer, accused of burning nine persons alive in the communal riots that broke out in Kanpur in the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992 were sentenced to life by a local court.
February, 2009
Former BJP leader Kalyan Singh said he owned total responsibility for the demolition of the Babri Masjid when he was the CM of UP in 1992.
June, 2009
Liberhan commission submitted its report to PM Manmohan Singh, 17 years after it was set up. The commission, which got 48 extensions, submitted the report in the presence of Home Minister P Chidambaram.
July, 2009
UP govt seeks a probe by the CBI into the disappearance of 23 files relating to the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmbhoomi case.
November, 2009
Eighth witness of the CBI in the Babri masjid demolition case, Mr Chandra Kishore Mishra said that LK Advani gave provocative speeches before the mosque was demolished.
November, 2009
Home Minister P Chidambaram tabled the Liberhan Commission Inquiry report in the Lok Sabha.
July, 2010
Allahabad HC asked parties in the Ayodhya case to find a compromise before the final verdict. The court said that the parties could inform the officer on special duty of the court if there is any possibility of out-of-court settlement until delivery of judgment.
September, 2010
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court says it will pronounce its judgment on case on September 24.
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