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Ayodhya: chronology

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Sept 30 � The Ayodhya dispute has remained an emotive issue and mired in a slew of legal suits for decades involving Hindu and Muslim religious groups.

Following is the history, chronology and timeline of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid issue on which the Allahabad High Court delivered its keenly awaited verdict today on the Ayodhya title suit.

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

� 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 surfaces inside mosque. Muslims claim that it was kept there by Hindus.

Muslims protest, and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.

� January 18, 1950: The first title suit 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.

� April 24, 1950: The State of UP appeals against the injunction order.

� 1950: Ramchandra Paramhans files another suit, but withdraws later.

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

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

� 1986: On a plea of Hari Shanker Dubey, a district judge directs Masjid gates to be unlocked to allow �darshan�.

Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee.

� 1989: A fresh suit is 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 HC.

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

� 1989: VHP lays foundations of a Ram temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.

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

� Dec 6, 1992: The disputed mosque is demolished by Hindu hardline groups prompting nationwide communal riots which claimed more than 2,000 lives.

� Dec 16, 1992: Justice Liberhan Commission set up to inquire into the demolition of disputed structure within six months.

� July, 1996: Allahabad HC clubs all civil suits.

� 2002: The HC directs the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate the site to determine if a temple lay underneath.

� Apr, 2002: Three High Court judges begin hearing.

� Jan, 2003: ASI begins a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Rama existed at the site.

� Aug, 2003: The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque. Muslims dispute the findings.

� July, 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attack the disputed site. Security forces kill five people.

� Jun, 2009: Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque demolition submits its report - 17 years after it began its inquiry and after getting extension for 48 times.

� July 26, 2010: Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court reserves its order on the suits, fixes September 24 for pronouncement of verdict.

� Sept 17, 2010: HC refuses to defer pronouncement of the verdict as pleaded by one of the parties R C Tripathi in the suit.

� Sept 21, 2010 : Tripathi approaches SC against HC order. A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and A K Patnaik refuses to take up the case. Matter referred to another bench.

� Sept 23, 2010 : Difference of opinion between two Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale crops up on entertaining the petition. Court issues notices to the parties.

� Sept 28, 2010 : SC dismisses Tripathi�s plea for deferment of the verdict by the HC which now fixes September 30 for pronouncement of the judgement. � PTI

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Ayodhya: chronology

NEW DELHI, Sept 30 � The Ayodhya dispute has remained an emotive issue and mired in a slew of legal suits for decades involving Hindu and Muslim religious groups.

Following is the history, chronology and timeline of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid issue on which the Allahabad High Court delivered its keenly awaited verdict today on the Ayodhya title suit.

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

� 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 surfaces inside mosque. Muslims claim that it was kept there by Hindus.

Muslims protest, and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.

� January 18, 1950: The first title suit 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.

� April 24, 1950: The State of UP appeals against the injunction order.

� 1950: Ramchandra Paramhans files another suit, but withdraws later.

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

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

� 1986: On a plea of Hari Shanker Dubey, a district judge directs Masjid gates to be unlocked to allow �darshan�.

Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee.

� 1989: A fresh suit is 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 HC.

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

� 1989: VHP lays foundations of a Ram temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.

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

� Dec 6, 1992: The disputed mosque is demolished by Hindu hardline groups prompting nationwide communal riots which claimed more than 2,000 lives.

� Dec 16, 1992: Justice Liberhan Commission set up to inquire into the demolition of disputed structure within six months.

� July, 1996: Allahabad HC clubs all civil suits.

� 2002: The HC directs the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate the site to determine if a temple lay underneath.

� Apr, 2002: Three High Court judges begin hearing.

� Jan, 2003: ASI begins a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Rama existed at the site.

� Aug, 2003: The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque. Muslims dispute the findings.

� July, 2005: Suspected Islamic militants attack the disputed site. Security forces kill five people.

� Jun, 2009: Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque demolition submits its report - 17 years after it began its inquiry and after getting extension for 48 times.

� July 26, 2010: Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court reserves its order on the suits, fixes September 24 for pronouncement of verdict.

� Sept 17, 2010: HC refuses to defer pronouncement of the verdict as pleaded by one of the parties R C Tripathi in the suit.

� Sept 21, 2010 : Tripathi approaches SC against HC order. A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and A K Patnaik refuses to take up the case. Matter referred to another bench.

� Sept 23, 2010 : Difference of opinion between two Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale crops up on entertaining the petition. Court issues notices to the parties.

� Sept 28, 2010 : SC dismisses Tripathi�s plea for deferment of the verdict by the HC which now fixes September 30 for pronouncement of the judgement. � PTI