Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue: The history behind the dispute

The first recorded incident of violence over the holy site took place in 1853

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The Supreme Court’s suggestion on Tuesday for an amicable settlement to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya has yet again rekindled the debate on the subject that has for decades been a religious and political flashpoint.

The Babri mosque dates back nearly 500 years when it was built in Ayodhya by Mir Baqi, a commander of the first Mughal emperor Babur, in 1528. Hence the mosque’s name, Babri Masjid.

Here is the timeline to the dispute:

1853: The first recorded incident of violence over the holy site takes place during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh. Nirmohis, a Hindu sect, claim that a Hindu temple had been destroyed during Babur’s times to build the mosque.

1859: The British colonial administration erects a fence at the site to separate the places of worship. While the Muslims are allowed to use the inner court, the Hindus are allowed the outer court.

1885: In January 1885, Mahant Raghubir Das files the first case, seeking permission to build a canopy on the Ramchabutra (a raised platform) outside the mosque. The plea is rejected by the Faizabad district court.

1949: Lord Ram’s idols appear inside the mosque, allegedly placed by Hindu groups. Both sides file suits; the government declares the area as disputed and locks the gates to the premise. Read More

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