Ram Mandir: A look at 500-year timeline, from Babri Masjid to Lalla Virajman

Ram Mandir: A look at 500-year timeline, from Babri Masjid to Lalla Virajman

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  • January 22, 2024
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Following is the timeline of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid issue

1528: A mosque was built on the site by Mughal emperor Babar which Hindus allege to be the birth place of Lord Ram and where a temple earlier existed.

1530-1605: There were multiple allegations of conflicts and incidents of sectarian violence in relation to the Mandir-Masjid debate. During the time of Akbar, a platform was constructed in front of the mosques. As per reports, a royal order was passed stating that Hindus shouldn’t be stopped from performing puja at the platform.

1853: First recorded incidents of communal violence at the disputed site take place.

1859: British officials erect a fence to separate the places of worships, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.

1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files a suit seeking permission to build a canopy on Ram chabootra but his plea was rejected a year after by the Faizabad district court.

1949: Idol of Lord Ram surfaced inside mosque. Muslims claimed that it was kept there by the Hindus. Muslims protested, and both parties filed civil suits. The government proclaimed the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.

18 January, 1950: First title suit is filed by Gopal Singh Visharad asking for the right to worship the idols installed at ‘Asthan Janmabhoomi´. The court restrained the removal of idols and allowed the worship to continue.

24 April, 1950: The State of Uttar Pradesh appealed against the injunction order.

1950: Ramchandra Paramhans filed another suit, but withdraws later.

1959: Nirmohi Akhara entered the fray and files the third suit, seeking possession of the site, doing away with the court-appointed receiver. It claimed itself to be the custodian of the spot at which Ram was supposedly born.

18 December, 1961: UP Sunni Central Board of Waqf moved in to claim possession of the mosque and adjoining land.

1983: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) started nationwide movement for construction of temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

1 February, 1986: On a plea of Hari Shanker Dubey, a district judge directed Masjid gates to be unlocked to allow ‘darshan’. Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee.

1989: A fresh suit was filed by former VHP vice-president Deoki Nandan Agarwala in the name of Lord Ram for declaration of the title and possession in its favour at the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court.

23 October, 1989: All the four suits pending before a Faizabad court transferred to a special bench of the HC.

November 1989: VHP carries out Shilanyas ceremony in Ayodhya and the first stone of the planned Ram temple is put in place.

December 1989: VP Singh becomes Prime Minister of the country and Janata Dal-led National Front government comes to power.

1990: VHP volunteers partially damage the mosque. Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tries to resolve the dispute through negotiations, which fail the next year.

September 1990: BJP leader LK Advani starts yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya. Advani gets arrested in Bihar during the yatra.

November 1990: Karsevaks under VHP leaders clash with Uttar Pradesh police in Ayodhya, police uses force to control the crowd. Scores of karsevaks are killed.

10 November 1990: Chandra Shekhar became the Prime Minister with the help of Congress.

1991: BJP became the biggest opposition party in Lok Sabha after general elections with 120 seats.

June, 1991: BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh becomes Chief Minister

6 December 1992: This marked the turning point of the entire dispute when Babri mosque was razed to the ground by supporters of the VHP, Shiv Sena and BJP, prompting nationwide communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people died.

May, 1996: BJP became single largest party in Lok Sabha elections, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became PM for 13 days.

March 1998: BJP returned to power with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM for second time. The government last 13 months.

October 1999: BJP again comes to power at the Centre with a coalition of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and completes full term.

2001: Tensions rise on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. VHP pledges again to build Hindu temple at the site.

January 2002: Vajpayee had set up an Ayodhya cell in his office and appoints a senior official, Shatrughna Singh, to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders.

February 2002: BJP ruled out committing itself to the construction of a temple in its election manifesto for UP assembly elections. VHP confirmed deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers converged on the site. Meanwhile, in a supposedly related incident at least 58 people were killed in an attack on a train in Godhra which was carrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.

March 2002: Following the train attack, some 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, die in riots in Gujarat

April 2002: Three Allahabad High Court judges began hearings on determining who owns the religious site.

January 2003: Archaeologists began a Allahabad high court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram did exist on the site.

August 2003: The ASI survey said that there was evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims disputed the findings. Vajpayee said at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans that he would fulfil the dying man’s wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya. However, he hoped the courts and negotiations will solve the issue.

September 2003: A court ruled that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque, but no charges were brought against Advani, then deputy prime minister, who was also at the site in 1992.

31 August, 2003: All India Muslim Personal Law Board announced that it would challenge the ASI report.

November 2004: UP ruled that an earlier order which exonerated Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.

July 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attacked the disputed site, using a jeep laden with explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces killed five people they said were militants, and a sixth who was not immediately identified.

June 2009: The Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque’s demolition submited its report – 17 years after it began its inquiry. Its contents are not made public.

July 2010: Bench reserved its judgement and asked all parties to solve the issue amicably. But no one is keen.

8 September 2010: The High Court announced the verdict would be delivered on 24 September.

14 September, 2010: A writ was filed to defer the judgement but was subsequently rejected by the high court.

28 September, 2010: Supreme Court rejected petition for deferment and gives the go-ahead to the Allahabad high court to deliver the judgement on the Ayodhya title issue. The high court choosed 30 September as verdict day.

30 September, 2010: Allahabad High Court gave verdict. A three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court partitions 2.77 acres 2:1 between Hindu and Muslim groups.

9 May, 2011: SC stayed the verdict of the Allahabad High Court order splitting the disputed site in three parts and says that status quo will remain.

June 2015: VHP launched a campaign in Rajasthan to gather Shilas. After more than ten years, two truckloads of etched stones arrived in Ayodhya. The state’s SP government declared the Shilas would not be allowed admission into Ayodhya.

21 March, 2017: Since the Ayodhya matter was so delicate, the SC had recommended that it be settled out of court.

8 February 2018: As per reports, SC had ordered the parties to prepare their paperwork and declared that no more parties would be permitted to enter the case. It made it clear that it would treat the situation like a land dispute. 

14 March 2018: SC cancels 32 intervention petitions, leaving only those parties who were part of litigation at the HC.

8 March, 2019: SC constituted a mediation panel with FM Kalifulla as the chairman and comprising spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, to mediate in the land title dispute.

2 August, 2019: SC announced that on basis of the report submitted by the Chairman of the committee, the mediation failed. The court ordered day-to-day hearing of the case from 6 August.

6 August, 2019: A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising Justices Sharad Arvind Bopde, Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer began day-to-day hearing of the case.

9 November, 2019: The almost 70-year long dispute came to an end. The five-judge bench ordered setting up of a trust that paved the way for construction of a temple at Ayodhya. It also ordered allotting 5 acres to Muslims in Ayodhya for building a mosque.

5 August 2020: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, marking a historic accomplishment for his party. He had siad that a grand temple would be constructed for ‘Ram Lalla’, the infant Ram, who had been living in a tent for years.

22 January, 2024: The new Ram Lalla idol was consecrated at the Ayodhya temple, an event watched by lakhs of people on television at their homes and in temples across the country. PM Modi took part in the ‘pran pratishtha’ rituals in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

 

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Published: 22 Jan 2024, 01:28 PM IST

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