Dubai: India’s Supreme Court is set to rule on Saturday on the hotly-disputed religious site in the holy city of Ayodhya, with authorities preparing for possible unrest that the verdict could trigger.
Hindus believe that deity Ram was born at the same spot where Mughal-era Babri mosque (or Babri Masjid) stood in Ayodhya, a district of Uttar Pradesh, till 1992.
Here’s a timeline of the dispute:
1528: Babri Masjid built by Mir Baqi, commander of Mughal emperor Babur.
1885: Hindu priest Mahant Raghubir Das goes to Faizabad district court in British India seeking permission to build a canopy outside the mosque structure. A British judge rejects plea.
1949: Statues of Ram placed under the central dome of the mosque.
1950: Gopal Simla Visharad approaches Faizabad district court demanding rights to worship the statues of Ram.
1950: Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files suit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols inside the mosque.
1959: Nirmohi Akhara files suit seeking possession of the site.
1981: Uttar Pradesh (UP) Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site.
February 1, 1986: Local court orders the government to open the site for Hindu worshippers.
August 14, 1989: Allahabad High Court ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the disputed structure.
December 6, 1992: Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure demolished.
April 3, 1993: ‘Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act’ passed for acquisition of land by Centre in the disputed area. Various writ petitions, including one by Ismail Faruqui, filed in Allahabad HC challenging various aspects of the Act. Supreme Court exercising its jurisdiction under Article 139A transferred the writ petitions, which were pending in the High Court.
October 24, 1994: Supreme Court says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that mosque was not integral to Islam.
April 2002: Allahabad High Court begins hearing on determining who owns the disputed site.
September 30, 2010: Allahabad High Court , in a 2:1 majority, rules three-way division of disputed area between Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
May 9, 2011:Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya land dispute.
February 8, 2018: Supreme Court starts hearing the civil appeals.
January 8, 2019: Supreme Court sets up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the case headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud.
January 10, 2019: Justice U U Lalit recuses himself prompting Supreme Court to reschedule the hearing for January 29 before a new bench.
January 25, 2019: Supreme Court reconstitutes 5-member Constitution Bench to hear the case. The new bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
March 8, 2019 : Supreme Court refers the dispute for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla.