Ayodhya is Ram Janma bhoomi(Lord Ram Birth Place) for Hindus and Babri Masjid(Mosque) for Muslims. On December 6, 1992, a huge crowd of ‘Kar Sevaks’ / religious volunteers had gathered in the temple town and demolished the Masjid/Mosque.
It has been 25 years since it was demolished, and it’s legacy continues to play out in Indian Politics. Many Indians viewed the demolition as an act of vandalism whereas many others saw it as an act of vindication.
Even the Supreme Court has suggested that the dispute over the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi land can be best resolved through negotiations and not a judicial verdict.
What is this Babri Masjid case all about? Here are the Top 15 facts in this big story from starting till now.
1. Babri Masjid was built in Ayodhya in 1528. In 1853, the first recorded communal clashes over the site took place because Hindu groups claim that it was built after demolishing a temple.
2. You will get an idea about the seriousness of matter by the fact that in 1859, Britishers put a fence around the site marking separate areas of worship for both Hindus and Muslims.
3. In the pre-Independence era, Babri Masjid was known as Masjid-i-Janamasthan which means ‘mosque of the birthplace’.
4. In 1950 Gopal Singh Visharad filed a complaint in the civil courts requesting permission to offer prayers in the mosque where the idols were installed.
5. In 1961, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board claims the mosque and the surrounding area is a graveyard and files a case asking to deliver the possession of Babri Masjid to them and removal of the Hindu artifacts in the premises.
6. In 1984, Hindu groups formed a committee spearheaded by Vishwa Hindu Parishad party (VHP) under the leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani.
7. After almost five decades, in 1986, a district judge ordered to open the gate and allow Hindus to worship inside the mosque. In protest of the order by judge, Babri Mosque Action Committee was formed.
8. In 1990, BJP leader LK Advani took out a cross-country rath yatra and VHP volunteers partially damaged the Babri mosque.
9. On December 6, 1992, , around 2 lakh or more karsevaks demolished the Babri Masjid . Immediately after that communal riots across India occured. The act prompted nationwide disputes between Hindus & Muslims, The Liberhan Commission was set to probe the incident after 10 days of the demolishment.
10. In Feb 2002, about 58 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were brutally killed in the train attack in Godhra, Gujarat which triggered violence and led to a three-day inter-communal violence against Muslims killing around 2,000 people.
11. In September 2003, court asks seven Hindu leaders including famous BJP leaders to stand trial for instigating the destruction of the Babri Masjid. And in Nov 2004, a court in Uttar Pradesh orders to review the earlier order that clears Advani’s role in the Masjid destruction.
12. In April 2002, a 3-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court began hearings and in September 2010, the Allahabad High Court pronounced the verdict. A three-member bench consisting of Justices Sudhir Agarwal, SU Khan, DV Sharma rules that the site should be split in three parts, each going to Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla and the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh.
After 3 months the Allahabad High Court’s verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Waqf Board.
13. In 2011, the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order and also commented that the High Court’s verdict was surprising as none of the parties demanded split of the disputed site.
14. BJP comes in power at the centre with Narendra Modi’s landmark win in 2014. ” The BJP party returned to power in Uttar Pradesh after 15 years.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked his officials to start work on implementation of the their promise they made in their 2017 UP election manifesto i.e. to explore all possibilities within the purview of the Constitution to construct a Ram Mandir / Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
15. On April 2017, the Supreme Court restores criminal conspiracy against prominent BJP leaders including LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti.
But on May 30, 2017 they were granted bail by a special CBI court in Lucknow.