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It’s been 70 years that the Ram Mandir & Babri Masjid dispute began while it witnessed a series of ups & downs with riots & killings taking place. Here we are today with the final verdict on the Ramjanmabhoom-Babri Masjid Case. A bench of 5 judges headed by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi delivered the verdict while maintaining the status quo amongst both the faiths. The historic judgment paved the way for construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed site allocating 2.77 acres of land for the same, while for the Babri Masjid 5 acres of land will be allocated by the Centre to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque. The decision comes a day before Eid Milad Un Nabi. With a tint of political discourse to the series of events taken place over the decades, here is the series of events that shaped the judgment:
1528 Babri Masjid built by the commander of Babur, the first Mughal ruler of India. While Hindus under the leadership of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claims it was built over an 11th-century Hindu temple. 1853 During the British rule in the nation, the first violent outbreak took place which was tackled by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh a disputed state again!
1949 It was the first when a civil suit was found when an idol mysteriously appeared inside and Hindus started worshipping in the backdrop of Hindu Muslim riots already taking place post-partition. With the court orders, the gates were locked to avoid further conflict but prayers continued. 1950 The sentiments were hurt as darshan was not allowed thus the case was filed by a local resident in Faizabad seeking unrestricted darshan.
1959 Religious sect Nirmohi Akhara files a case claiming rights to the land while Lal Bahadur Shastri was the ruling party. 1961 Sunni Waqf Board puts in its claim for the mosque’s restoration. 1984 Under the regime of Indira Gandhi, the VHP started a “liberation march” from Bihar Sitamarhi to Lucknow on October 7th. The liberation march for the temple construction- the origin of the concept of Mandir Wahi Banega.
Article 25 of the Indian constitution was evoked when Umesh Chand Pandey filed a case in order to practice the right to worship without any hindrance. Thus Faizabad decision allowed Hindus to worship and the gates were thus opened for all. Babri Masjid Action Committee is formed within a month against the construction of the temple. 1990 Volunteers under the leadership of L.K. Advani demolish the mosque while 30 people are killed in police firing. 1991 The issue becomes political as the Ayodhya issue is taken up in the midterm Lok Sabha polls & the matter is given to the court. Places of Worship Bill get passed wherein all the religious places shall be maintained as per their status on August 15, 1947.
1992 Kar Sevaks under L.K. Advani set a large foundation East of the Babri Masjid, while Babri Masjid resulted in riots across the country wherein 1200 people died. The ruling government under P.V. Narasimha Rao established a commission to investigate the Babri Masjid demolition. 1993 Center tool over the 67 acres of disputed land with the SC rejecting all the references to whether a temple existed before the mosque through an ordinance in 1994.
2002 Ayodhya Cell was commenced by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee while a senior official, Shatrughan Singh was appointed to talk between Hindu and Muslim leaders. Godhra riots happened with an attack on a train from Godhra to Gujrat carrying kar sevaks to Ayodhya; around 1000 killed. Allahabad HC approached by the Centre for day to day hearing of the case, while the SC ruled out Bhumi Pooja at Ayodhya. 2003 The Allahabad High Court directs the Archaeological Survey of India to carry out an in-depth study in Ayodhya. ASI claims to have found evidence of a temple beneath the mosque. The Muslim groups disputed the ASI findings. The court rules that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the mosque demolition.
June 2009 After 17 years of the formation of the Liberhan Commission, they submit their report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. September 30, 2010 The Allahabad high court orders that the site should split into three parts among the Muslim community Nirmohi Akhara, and Ram Lalla (the deity). May 2011 The Supreme Court rejects the high court verdict after Hindu and Muslim groups appeal against the 2010 verdict.
March 2015 The Supreme Court issues notice to Advani and Joshi following a petition against dropping of conspiracy charges against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case. March 21, 2017 The Supreme Court asks to find an out-of-court settlement over who owns the site. April 19, 2017 Supreme Court declares that BJP leaders Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, and others will be investigated in the demolish of the Babri Masjid case. Supreme Court decides to hear the appeals and moves the hearing to February 2018.
September 27, 2018 Supreme Court refuses to assign the case to a five-judge constitution bench. The case to be heard by a newly constituted three-judge bench on October 29. January 8, 2019 Supreme Court commences a five-judge constitution bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and four other judges include SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, UU Lalit, and DY Chandrachud. January 25, 2019 The constitution was reconstituted by the Supreme court to hear the case. Chief Justice Gogoi and justices Bobde, Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer from the bench.
January 29, 2019 The center approaches the Supreme Court asking permission to return the land around the disputed site to original owners. March 8, 2019 Supreme Court appoints a mediation panel headed by Judge (Retd.) FMI Kallifulla for an out-of-court settlement. August 2019 The three-member mediation panel submits their report to the top court in a sealed envelope.
November 9, 2019 The top court today finally declared the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title suit. The matter was settled amicably favoring both the faiths maintaining the peace & secular outlook of the nation. While Hindus are satisfied with the decision based on the ownership of land with Ram Lalla while the Waqf Board is not satisfied with the verdict and sis reported to take appropriate proceedings accordingly.