Ayodhya temple: Key dates

Illuminated Ram Mandir after its consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Illuminated Ram Mandir after its consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. Photo | PTI


Jan 15: In 1st court case, Nirmohi Akhara mahant Raghubar Das seeks permission to construct a ‘mandap’ atop the platform in front of the mosque allegedly built at the birth place of Lord Ram in Ramkot by Mughal emperor Babur in 1528 Feb 24: Court of sub-judge Harikishan junks it


Mar 17: Raghubar Das challenges the decision in district court, which says it’s too late to amend a ‘mistake committed over 350 years ago’ Nov 1: Raghubar Das appeals to the top court of the province, which dismisses it


Dec 22-23: Idol of Ram Lalla appears inside the mosque after a Ramayan paath by Goraksha Peeth chief Mahant Digvijay Nath; Muslim side claims that the idol was kept by Hindu leaders; Hashim Ansari files plea from Muslim side


Jan 6: Gopal Singh Visharad of Hindu Mahasabha and Mahant Paramhans Ramchandradas of Digambar Akhara move Faizabad court seeking right to worship Jan 19: Civil judge restrains Muslim side through temporary injunction from removing the idol


March 3: The court passes interim order allowing puja and asks the Muslim parties not to interfere


Apr 26: Allahabad HC endorses the order of March 3, 1951


Dec 17: Nirmohi Akhara files the third suit in the matter claiming to be the custodian of Ram Janmasthan


Dec 18: A fourth suit filed by Sunni Central Waqf Board, staking claim to not only the mosque property but also the adjacent land; 6 Muslim plaintiffs, including Ansari, are party to the plea


Aug 29: VHP formed in presence of then RSS chief MS Golwalkar and Akali Dal chief Master Tara Singh


Apr 7-8: Dharm Sansad in Delhi raises Ram Janmabhoomi ‘liberation’


June 18: Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagya Samiti formed with Mahant Avaidyanath as chairman and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das as vice-chairman


Sept 18: ‘Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas’ formed under Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Shiv Ramacharya; Ashok Singhal, then VHP gen secy, appointed convener and Vishnu Hari Dalmiya treasurer


Feb 1: On a plea filed by Faizabad lawyer Umesh Chandra Pandey, district judge KM Pandey orders opening of disputed site’s locks for Hindu worshippers; allows puja inside Feb 3: Hashim Ansari moves Lucknow bench of HC against the order Feb 6: Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) formed


Feb 1: At Prayagraj Dharm Sansad, VHP fixes Nov 10 as the date for temple foundation June 8-9: At its Palampur convention, BJP, for the first time, announces to join Ram temple movement, saying it is a ‘matter of faith and courts can’t decide it’ Oct-Nov: Over 3 lakh Ramshilas reach Ayodhya for Nov 10 ‘shilanyas’


June: VHP fixes Oct 30 as the date to start the temple construction July-Oct: VP Singh govt begins efforts for negotiations Sept 25: Then BJP chief LK Advani starts rath yatra from Somnath; It was to reach Ayodhya by Oct 30 Oct 19: Centre passes an ordinance to acquire the disputed land and hand it over to RJB Nyas, but takes it back within three days Oct 23: Then Bihar CM Lalu Prasad stops Advani’s rath and arrests him in Samastipur Oct 30-Nov 2: Lakhs of kar sevaks reach Ayodhya to start temple construction, partially damage mosque; Then UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav orders police firing to control mob; 17 kar sevaks killed Nov 7: VP Singh govt falls after BJP withdraws support and Chandrashekhar becomes PM


May: Rajiv Gandhi assassinated in middle of general elections. Cong wins the poll, Narsimha Rao becomes the PM; In UP, BJP comes to power, Kalyan Singh appointed CM Sept 18: Narsimha Rao govt passes Places of Worship Act, which says that a mosque, temple, church or any place of public worship in existence on August 15 1947, will retain the same religious character that it had on that day Oct: Kalyan Singh govt acquires 2.77 acre land around the disputed site Oct 25: HC allows UP govt to take control of acquired land but stops it from raising any structure on it Nov 2: Kalyan Singh gives assurance at the National Integration Council that the ‘structure’ will be protected

Babri Masjid in Ayodhya before it was demolished by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
Babri Masjid in Ayodhya before it was demolished by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992. (File Photo | AP)


Feb: UP govt starts construction of boundary wall around the disputed site March: 42.09 acre land acquired near the dispute site in 1988-89 was handed over to RJB Nyas; The land was levelled over the next three months after razing the existing structures May: Muslim side moves HC seeking to stall the levelling work on 42.09 acre land; HC refuses to stay levelling work July 9: VHP resumes kar sewa, construction of a concrete platform near shilanyas site begins July 15: HC stays kar sewa and construction work July: Contempt plea filed in SC against Kalyan Singh July 23: SC stops construction work; PM Rao appeals to seers to break the deadlock July 26: VHP stops kar sewa for 3 months Aug: After Rao’s assurance in Parliament that he is talking to both sides, an Ayodhya Cell formed in the PMO, with ex-cabinet secy Naresh Chandra as chairman Oct: On PM’s initiative, two rounds of talks take place between BMAC and VHP Oct 30: Dharm Sansad announces resumption of kar sewa on Dec 6 Nov 27: UP govt files an affidavit in SC that no permanent construction will take place at the disputed site; SC appoints it observer for Ayodhya to there is construction on Dec 6 Dec 3: Over 25,000 paramilitary forces stationed in Ayodhya Dec 6: Lakhs of people arrive in Ayodhya for kar sewa; disputed structure razed leading to nationwide communal riots, leaving over 2,000 dead; Kalyan Singh resigns before Centre sacks his govt and imposes Prez rule; Idols placed in the makeshift temple made of tent by evening; Two FIRs are lodges at Ram Janmabhoomi thana — No 197 against thousands of unnamed kar sevaks for razing the structure and No 198 against 49 prominent saffron leaders like Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Ashok Singhal Dec 7-8: Central forces take control of the disputed site Dec 10: Centre bans RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Jamaat-e-Islami Dec 13: FIR no 197 in demolition case handed over to CBI; FIR No 198 to CB-CID of state police Dec 15: Centre sacks BJP govts in Rajasthan, MP and HP Dec 16: Advani and seven others sent to Lalitpur jail Dec 16: Retired CJ of AP high court, MS Liberhan, appointed as a 1-man commission to probe demolition; It was to submit its report in three months but was given 48 extensions; It finally submitted its report on June 30, 2009


Jan 7: Centre acquires total 67.7 acre land around the site Mar 11: Mumbai blasts ‘in retaliation’ to Babri demolition Apr 3: Land acquisition at Ayodhya challenged by Ismail Faruqui in SC


Feb: VHP fixes March 15 as the date for resuming temple construction; Kar sevaks start reaching Ayodhya from across the country; SP government in UP allows a symbolic ‘shila pujan’; Coach No S-6 of Sabarmati Express carrying them to Gujarat burnt near Godhra station; 58 of them burnt alive, leading to Gujarat riots, which claimed more than 1,000 lives April: A 3-judge bench of Allahabad HC resumes hearing in Ayodhya title suit


Sept 30: HC delivers verdict on 4 petitions filed in the title suit; Orders to divide the dispute land into 3 parts — one part each to Ram Lalla Virajman, represented by Hindu Mahasabha, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Central Waqf Board Dec: Both Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni board challenge the verdict in SC


May: SC stays HC order


May: Narendra Modi govt comes to power with absolute majority


March 21: SC says Ayodhya issue should be resolved out of court


Feb 8: SC asks parties to get their papers ready, says no new party will be allowed to join the litigation Sept 27: SC turns down Muslim side plea to send Ismail Farouqui case of 1994 to a bigger bench; SC bench headed by then CJI Deepak Mishra delivers 2-1 verdict Oct 29: After the retirement of Justice Mishra, a bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph starts hearing the case; It adjourns the hearing till January 2019


Nov 9: In a unanimous judgment, SC identifies the disputed site as the birthplace of Lord Ram and hands over 2.77 acre land to Ram Lalla Virajman; asks Centre to form a trust within 3 months for the construction of the temple


August 5 : Bhoomi Pujan for Ram temple performed by PM Narendra Modi on 2.77 acre land

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