The Supreme Court of India in a unanimous verdict in November 2019 cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Mandir(temple) at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a masjid(mosque).
Ram Janmabhoomi is the name given to the site that is the birthplace of Bhagwan(God) Ram, the 7th avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu.
The Ramayana states that the location of Bhagwan Ram’s birthplace is on the banks of the Sarayu river in Ayodhya. A section of Hindus claims that the exact site of Rama’s birthplace is where the Babri Masjid once stood in the present-day Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. According to this theory, the Mughals demolished a Hindu shrine that marked the spot and constructed a masjid in its place.
However, upon the demolition of the Babri masjid, the Archaeological Survey of India reported on its findings that there existed a 5th-century Hindu temple at the exact location where the Babri Masjid was built.
The political, historical and socio-religious debate over the history and location of the Babri Masjid, and whether a previous temple was demolished or modified to create it, is known as the Ayodhya dispute.
We’ve put together this little guide to help you to know every detail about Ram Janmabhoomi and the events related to it:
1529: Babri Masjid is built by Mir Baqi in Ayodhya.
1542-1605: Ram Chabutara(platform) is built by Mughal emperor Akbar.
1855: A clash between Hindus and Muslims is resolved by the construction of a wall between Masjid and Chabutara. It was also decided that Muslims would not perform Namaz at the time prayers are offered to Bhagwan Ram and vice versa.
1883: Faizabad Deputy Commissioner refuses to allow the construction of a Mandir around the Ram Chabutara.
January 1885: The case is placed for the first time before a court when Mahant Raghubar Das through case number -61/1885 appeals before the Sub-Judge that temple construction is allowed at the Ram Chabutara.
November 1, 1886: Awadh Chief Court Judicial Commissioner dismisses Raghubar Das’s appeal for the Mandir construction.
December 22-23, 1949: Around midnight, idols of Bhagwan Ram are placed inside the masjid. An FIR is lodged under sections 147, 148 of the IPC pertaining to rioting at Ayodhya police station.
December 28, 1949: On the basis of a police report, the City Magistrate, under Section 145 of the CrPC, is satisfied that a dispute likely to cause a breach of peace exists concerning the Ram Chabutara and appoints a pleader.
January 5, 1950: A case (number 50/1950) is filed by Ramchandra Paramhans against five Muslims and the District Magistrate, Faizabad. In his prayer, Paramhans sought uninterrupted performance of religious rituals and prayers and that the idols not be removed from the site.
January 16, 1950: Gopal Singh Visharad appeals before Faizabad Civil Court that they are allowed to worship the idols.
February 1, 1951: Both cases are clubbed together by the order of Civil Judge, Faizabad.
March 3, 1951: Civil Judge Faizabad allows the worshipping of the idols. The district administration orders the Muslims to not enter beyond 200 meters of the masjid.
January 6, 1964: Civil Judge, Faizabad clubs a regular suit filed by the Central Sunni Waqf Board (number 12) claiming ownership of the title of Babri masjid and adjoining 23 plots along with other matters pertaining to the case.
February 1, 1986: Faizabad District Judge KM Pandey orders the locks of the Babri mosque opened on an application filed by advocate Umeshchandra Pandey.
July 10, 1989: Justices UC Shrivastava and Haider Abbas Raza transfer the four civil cases pertaining to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit to the High Court.
September 25, 1990: LK Advani starts his Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya, riots follow in Baroda, Banaskantha in Gujarat and spark communal unrest in Karnailgunj in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, and Udaipur, Rajasthan.
October 19, 1990: Through a Presidential Ordinance, the land where Babri Masjid and Ram Chabutara stood is acquired. The order is reversed after opposition from both Hindus and Muslims.
December 6, 1992: Babri mosque demolished. Two separate FIRs lodged. The first (No – 197/92) names unknown Kar Sevaks. The second (No – 198/92) names LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti & Others for provocative speeches, promoting enmity, threatening communal integration.
October 1993: CBI files composite charge sheet, which includes LK Advani and others.
May 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against LK Advani and others stating that permission was not taken by the State Government from the High Court while transferring the second case (FIR No – 198/92) from Rae Bareilly to the special CBI court.
April 2007: The Supreme Court of India revives criminal conspiracy charges against LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, and clubs their trial with the ongoing trial against Kar Sevaks.
September 30, 2010: Allahabad High Court pronounces its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute and holds that the land is divided into equal parts among Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhara.
May 9, 2011: The Supreme Court of India stays the High Court order splitting the disputed site into three parts and orders that the status quo be maintained.
August 6, 2019: A five-judge Constitution bench starts final hearing on the title suit.
October 16, 2019: Final hearing ends in the Supreme Court of India.
November 9, 2019: The Supreme Court of India in a unanimous verdict cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Mandir at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a Masjid.