The verdict by a special court in the Babri Masjid demolition case comes 28 years after kar sevaks razed the 16th century mosque and almost a year after the Supreme Court settled the land case in favour of a Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya site. A timeline:
– 1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
– 1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files plea in Faizabad district court seeking permission to build a canopy outside the disputed structure. Court rejects the plea.
– 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla placed under central dome outside the disputed structure.
– 1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files suit in Faizabad district court for right to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
– Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols.
– 1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.
– 1961: UP Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.
– Feb 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site to Hindu worshippers.
– Aug 1989: Allahabad HC orders status quo in respect of the disputed structure.
– Dec 6, 1992: Babri Masjid demolished.
– Dec 1992: Two FIRs filed in the case. One against unknown kar sevaks for demolition of the mosque. The other names BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and others for allegedly giving communal speeches before the demolition.
– Oct 1993: CBI files composite charge sheet accusing Advani and others of conspiracy.
– May 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bal Thackeray and others.
– Nov 2004: CBI challenges before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court the dropping of proceedings against BJP leaders on technical grounds. Court issues notices.
– May 2010: High court dismisses plea. Says no merit in CBI’s revision petition.
– Sep 2010: In a 2:1 majority, HC rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
– May 2011: SC stays HC verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.
– Feb 2011: CBI moves Supreme Court against high court order in the mosque demolition case.
– Mar 2017: SC indicates it may consider reviving conspiracy charge against the BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case.
– SC suggests fresh attempts to resolve Ayodhya dispute.
– Apr: SC favours time-bound completion of trial in the case and reserves order on CBI’s plea.
– SC restores criminal conspiracy charge against leaders including Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti and clubs the trials in the matters pending against VIPs and kar sevaks.
– Nov 2019: SC grants entire disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla, directs govt to allot an alternative five-acre plot to Muslims to build mosque.
– Aug 2020: PM Narendra Modi conducts ‘bhoomi pujan’ in Ayodhya, launches construction of Ram temple.
– Supreme Court extends by a month the deadline for completion of trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Sep 30: Special Judge S K Yadav delivers judgment in the mosque demolition case, all accused acquitted.