The 16th century Babri mosque was razed to the ground in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on December 6, 1992. The destruction carried out by Hindu activists was a break-point in the relation between Hindu-Muslim in India. Many believe that the mosque stood on the birthplace of Lord Rama. Unrest was seen throughout the nation, killing more than 2,100 people. Almost two decades after the demolition all we can say is that the battle is a wound that the nation is yet to recover. In 2017, post the Uttar Pradesh election, the storm has hit the nation again. Here is a chronology of the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute.
1528: Mughal Empire Babur builds a mosque in Ram Janmabhoomi, a spot where Lord Rama was born. It is also said that to build the mosque an old temple was demolished and so the mosque is named after ‘Babur’ so the name ‘Babri Masjid’.
1853: The year saw first religious violence at the site.
1855: A dispute over the possession of the mosque between Hindus and Muslims started. It is said that Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabootara was constructed around this time.
1859: British Colonial administration constructed railings to split the places of worship, allowing the inner area for Muslims and outer for Hindus. This was practised for 90 years.
1949: Lord Rama’s idol surprisingly appears inside mosque. Hindus claim it to be a miracle while Muslims protest against it, resulting in both filing civil suits. Later, the government declares the area a heated one and shuts the gate.
1950: A suit is file in Faizabad by Mahant Paramhand Ramchandra Das and Gopal Singh Visharad to seek permission for offering prayers in Asthan Janmabhoomi. Though the gates are shut performing puja is allowed.
1961: Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board claims the mosque and the surrounding area is a graveyard and files a case.
1984: A committee is formed spearheaded by Vishwa Hindu Parishad party (VHP) under the leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani. The aim of the committee was to set free the birth-place of Lord Rama by constructing a temple in honour of the lord.
1986: After almost five decades, a district judge orders to open the gate and allow Hindus to worship inside the mosque which was once announced as the disputed structure. In less than 60 minutes of the court’s order the gates are opened. In protest of the order, Babri Mosque Action Committee is formed.
1989: Vishwa Hindu Parishad starts a campaign and lays foundation stone to construct a Rama’s temple on the area next to the ‘disputed area’. Former Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s vice-president Justice Deoki Nandan Agarwal, files a case asking to shift the mosque elsewhere.
1990: The mosque is partially damage by the volunteers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tries to settle the issue through negotiations but gets no success.
1991: BJP comes in power in Uttar Pradesh. The power of the centre is Congress.
1992: The mosque is demolished by supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena and Bhartiya Janata Party. This act prompted nationwide disputes between Hindus and Muslims, killing more than 2,000 people.
Here are some of the pictures of the demolition day:
1998: A coalition government is formed under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
2001: Taking in consideration the rising tension on the anniversary of the mosque, Vishwa Hindu Parishad oaths again to build a temple at the spot.
Jan 2002: An Ayodhya cell is set-up by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He appoints Shatrughna Singh, a senior official for a peaceful talk between Hindu and Muslim leaders.
Feb 2002: Vishwa Hindu Parishad comes up with a deadline to begin construction of the temple. But BJP rules out any possibilities to include the construction of temple in the election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. About 58 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya are killed in the train attack in Godhra, Gujarat.
Mar 2002: The train attack triggered violence, resulting in a three-day inter-communal violence against Muslims killing around 2,000 people.
Apr 2002: A High Court hearing is begun to discover who owns the site.
Jan 2003: High court orders archaeologists to conduct research whether any Lord Rama temple ever existed on the site.
Aug 2003: The survey comes out with a conclusion that there are evidences of a temple found under the mosque.
Sep 2003: Court asks seven Hindu leaders to stand trial for provoking the destruction of the Babri Mosque. No charges filed against L.K.Advani who was also present on the destruction day on the site.
Oct 2004: Advani announced that his party still stands to the commitment of constructing a temple on the site.
Nov 2004: A court in Uttar Pradesh orders to review the earlier order that clears Advani’s role in the destruction activity.
Jul 2005: The disputed site is attacked using a jeep loaded with explosives. The security forces at the site kill five attackers.
2007: The Supreme Court rejects petition on the Ayodhya dispute.
Jun 2009: 17 years after the incident, the commission investigating on the event submits a report. The content is kept confidential.
Nov 2009: The submitted reports, holds Hindu nationalist BJP responsible for its role in the demolition of the mosque.
Sep 2010: The Allahabad High Court pronounced the judgement in the 60-year-old dispute. A three-member bench comprising of Justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma rules that the site should be split in three parts –the area of the Ramlala idol be allotted to party representing Ram Lalla Virajman, Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara to be given to Nirmohi Akhara and the rest of the land given to the Sunni Wakf Board.
Dec 2010: The Allahabad High Court’s verdict is challenged in the Supreme Court by the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Waqf Board.
May 2011: The Supreme Court commented that the High Court’s verdict was surprising as none of the parties demanded split of the site.
2014: BJP comes in power at the centre with Narendra Modi’s landmark win.
2015: A nation-wide drive is announced to collect stones for the construction of Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya. Two trucks of stones are carried on the site. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das declares that Modi government has accepted the proposal to build the temple. However Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav declares it will not let stones to arrive in Ayodhya for the construction.
Feb 2016: The Supreme Court asks BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to interfere in the Ayodhya dispute.
- The Supreme Court announces that the charges against LK Advani and other leaders present and involved in the demolition of the mosque cannot be dropped and the case may be started afresh.
- BJP comes in power in Uttar Pradesh with a massive victory.
- The Supreme Court on March 21 asks all parties to intervene and find a solution to the sensitive Ayodhya Mandir dispute.
April 19, 2017:
The Supreme Court restores criminal conspiracy against senior BJP leaders including LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti. A bench comprising of Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman pronounce the judgement. It directs to club the trials at Rae Bareli and Lucknow and complete it in two years.
Watch this video of the ‘Babri Masjid Demolition’ by NewsX.