A Timeline Of The Ayodhya Case: 1528 – 2019


The Supreme Court of India is all set to deliver the historic judgement in the politically sensitive case of Ram janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case that has been going on for seven decades. The judgement will come at 10:30 am on November 9th, 2019.

As we wait with bated breath for the closure of the case which has spanned for centuries now, let’s look at the timeline of events of the Ayodhya case from the year 1528-2019.

  • 1528 – Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur built the Babri Masjid in the emperor’s accordance.
  • 1611 – English merchant William Finch recorded Rama’s castle and houses being visited by pilgrims.
  • 1717 – Rajput noble Jai Singh II purchased the land of the mosque and vested it in the deity. Hindus worship Rama idols outside the mosque.
  • 1768 – Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler witnessed the mosque and recorded the local tradition that it was built by Aurangzeb, while some said Babur built it.
  • 1853 – The first recorded communal clashes over the site date to this year.
  • 1859 – The colonial British administration put a fence around the site, denominating separate areas of worship for Hindus and Muslims. That is how it stood for about 90 years.
  • 1949 – Idols were placed inside the mosque. Both sides filed civil suits. The government locked the gates, saying the matter was sub judice and declared the area disputed. The civil suits were filed for ownership of the Plot no 583 of the area.
  • 1961 – A case was filed in Indian courts against forceful occupation of the Babri Mosque and placing idols within it.
  • 1984 – The movement to build a temple at the site, which Hindus claimed was the birthplace of Lord Ram, gathered momentum when Hindu groups formed a committee to spearhead the construction of a temple at the Ram janmabhoomi site.
  • 1986 – A district judge ordered the gates of the mosque to be opened and allowed Hindus to worship inside the “disputed structure.” A Babri Mosque Action Committee was formed as Muslims protested the move.
  • 1989 – In February, VHP proclaimed that a stone will be established for construction of temple near the area. In November, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad laid foundations of a temple on land adjacent to the “disputed structure.”
  • 1990 – The then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani took out a cross-country rath yatra to garner support for the move to build a Ram temple at the site. On 23rd October, he was arrested in Bihar during the yatra
  • 1991 – Kalyan Singh of BJP became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. State government acquired 2.77 acre land in the area and gave it on lease to Ram JanmBhoomi Nyas Trust. The Allahabad High Court stopped any permanent construction activity in the area. Kalyan Singh publicly supported the movement while Central Government took no action to curb the increasing tensions. In spite of the High Court judgement, disputed area was leveled.
  • 1992 – On December 6th, the Babri Masjid was demolished by a gathering of nearly 200,000 Karsevaks.
  • 1992 – Ten days after the demolition, the Congress government at the Centre, headed by PV Narasimha Rao, set up a commission of inquiry under Justice Liberhan.
  • 2001 – Tensions rose on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque as the VHP reaffirmed its resolve to build a temple at the site.
  • 2002 – At least 58 people were killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on train believed to be carrying Hindu volunteers from Ayodhya. Riots followed in the state and over 2000 people were unofficially reported to have died in these.
  • 2003 – The court ruled that seven Hindu leaders, including some prominent BJP leaders, should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque.
  • 2004 – An Uttar Pradesh court ruled that an earlier order which exonerated LK Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.
  • 2007 – The Supreme Court refused to admit a review petition on the Ayodhya dispute.
  • 2010 – The Allahabad High Court pronounces its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute on 30 September 2010. Ayodhya land to be divided into three parts. ⅓ goes to Ram Lalla represented by Hindu Maha Sabha, ⅓ to Sunni Waqf Board, ⅓ goes to Nirmohi Akhara.
  • 2010 – In the month of December, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Waqf board moved to the Supreme Court of India, challenging part of the Allahabad High Court’s verdict.
  • 2011 – On May 9th the Supreme Court of India, stayed the High Court order splitting the disputed site in three parts and said that status quo will remain.
  • 2019 – In the month of January, the SC sets up a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi comprising of Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud.
  • 2019 – In February, SC favours mediation.
  • 2019 – Mediation committee submits a report to SC in the month of May.
  • 2019 – On August 6th, the five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, started day-to-day final hearing on the case.
  • 2019 – On October 16th, the SC concludes hearing and reserves order.

Photo credit: @zeenews