Twenty-eight years after the demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya that led to nationwide communal riots, this is the first year that both cases - demolition and title suit - have been disposed off.
The Supreme Court on November 9, 2019 had paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, following which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone on August 5, 2020.
In a judgment pronounced on Sep 30 this year, a CBI court acquitted all the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case, including BJP veterans LK Advani and MM Joshi. The court said there was no conclusive proof against the accused.
The mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by 'karsevaks' who had converged as part of a movement by the BJP and Hindu outfits for construction of a temple dedicated to Lord Ram at the disputed site.
While Muslims mourn the demolition as 'Yaum E Gham' (day of sorrow), Hindutva organisations celebrate the day as 'Shaurya Diwas' (day of bravery).
Here is a timeline of Babri Masjid case:
- 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur
- 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed structure. Court rejects the plea
- 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under central dome outside the disputed structure
- 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for right to worship the idols of Ram Lalla
- Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols
- 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site
- 1961: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site
- Feb 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site to Hindu worshippers
- Aug 1989: Allahabad HC orders status quo in respect of the disputed structure
- Dec 6, 1992: Babri Masjid demolished
- Dec 1992: Two FIRs filed in the case. One against unknown kar sevaks for demolition of the mosque. The other names BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and others for allegedly giving communal speeches before the demolition
- Oct 1993: CBI files composite charge sheet accusing Advani and others of conspiracy
- May 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bal Thackeray and others
- Nov 2004: CBI challenges before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court the dropping of proceedings against BJP leaders on technical grounds. Court issues notices
- May 2010: High court dismisses plea. Says no merit in CBI's revision petition
- Sep 2010: In a 2:1 majority, HC rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla
- May 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute
- Feb 2011: CBI moves Supreme Court against high court order in the mosque demolition case
- Mar 2017: SC indicates it may consider reviving conspiracy charge against the BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case
- SC suggests fresh attempts to resolve Ayodhya dispute
- Apr: SC favours time-bound completion of trial in the case and reserves order on CBI's plea
- SC restores criminal conspiracy charge against leaders including Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti and clubs the trials in the matters pending against VIPs and kar sevaks
- Nov 2019: SC grants entire disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla, directs govt to allot an alternative five-acre plot to Muslims to build mosque
- Aug 2020: PM Narendra Modi conducts 'bhoomi pujan' in Ayodhya, launches construction of Ram temple
- Supreme Court extends by a month the deadline for completion of trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case
- Sep 30: Special Judge S K Yadav delivers judgment in the mosque demolition case, all accused acquitted.
(With PTI inpus)