Timeline: Ayodhya dispute

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 30, 2010 12:12 hrs

The religious site at Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid was destroyed in 1992 has been a flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims for years. The dispute dates back to the 19th century.

1528: A mosque is built on the site which some Hindus say Lord Rama was born.

1853: First recorded Hindu-Muslim clashes at the site.

Ayodhya: Recurring flashpoint

1859: The British administration erects a fence to separate the places of worship, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.

1949: Idols of Lord Ram appear inside the mosque. Muslims protest. Both parties file civil suits. The Central Government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.

1984: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) forms a panel to 'liberate' the disputed site and build a Ram temple there.

1986: The district judge at Ayodhya opens the locks of the gates, allowing Hindus to worship there. Upset Muslims form the Babri Mosque Action Committee in protest.

1989: The VHP steps up campaign, laying the foundations of a Ram temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.

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

1990: L K Advani takes out a rath yatra to build the Ram temple.

1991: The BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh.

Dec 6, 1992: The mosque is demolished by the supporters of the VHP, the Shiv Sena party and the BJP, prompting nationwide rioting between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people die.

Dec 16, 1992: The PV Narasimha Rao government at the Centre announces the setting up of the justice MS Liberhan commission to inquire into the conspiracy to demolish the Babri mosque

March 1993: The Liberhan Commission begins investigations.

1998: The BJP forms coalition government under prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

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

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

Feb 2002: The BJP does not commit itself to a Ram temple in its manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh elections.

Feb and March 2002: Riots in Gujarat claim over 1,000 lives. Clashes break out after a train coach carrying devotees returning from Ayodhya is burnt at Godhra station, killing 58 people.

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

Jan 2003: Archaeologists begin a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Rama existed on the site.

2003: Archaeologists say there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque. Muslims dispute the findings.

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

2004: NDA loses power; Congress-led United Progressive Alliance forms the government.

Nov 2004: A court in Uttar Pradesh rules that an earlier order which exonerated Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.

July 2005: Militants attack the disputed site, using a jeep with explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces kill six people. Ayodhya remains peaceful.

2007: The Supreme Court refuses to review a petition on the Ayodhya case being heard by courts in Lucknow and Rae Bareli.

June 30, 2009: The Liberhan Commission submits its report after more than 16 years and a record 48 extensions.

On Sept 8, 2010: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court says it will pronounce its judgment on case on September 24.

On Sept 23, 2010: The Supreme Court orders an interim stay till Sept 28 on the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict.

On Sept 28, 2010:
The Supreme Court rejects the plea for the deferment of the verdict.

On Sept 28, 2010: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court says it would pronounce the verdict on Sept 30.

On Sept 30, 2010: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court pronounce the verdict. It suggests the division of the disputed land into three.

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