India Today - - INSIDE -

Look­ing back at the events in Ay­o­d­hya and how it changed the course of the coun­try’s his­tory


Kar se­vaks scal­ing Babri Masjid on De­cem­ber 6, 1992

The first ref­er­ence to the Babri Masjid oc­cu­py­ing the site of the Ram Jan­mab­hoomi was by a Faiz­abad court of­fi­cial, Hafizul­lah, al­most two cen­turies ago in 1822—the “mosque founded by Em­peror Babur is sit­u­ated at the birth­place of Ram”. In the 1850s, the Nir­mohi Akhara, a re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion of sad­hus be­long­ing to the Vaish­nava sam­pra­daya, made its first le­gal claim on the dis­puted land.

In 1885, Ma­hant Raghubar Das of the Nir­mohi Akhara filed Suit No. 61/280 in the Faiz­abad court against the Sec­re­tary of State for In­dia, seek­ing per­mis­sion to build a Ram tem­ple on the Ram Chabu­tra (raised plat­form), ad­ja­cent to the Babri Masjid. The court re­fused, fear­ing public dis­or­der.

The dis­pute took a dra­matic turn in 1949 when on the night of De­cem­ber 22, an idol of Ram Lalla (baby Ram) ap­peared mys­te­ri­ously un­der the cen­tral dome of Babri Masjid. Puja be­gan soon af­ter. On Jan­uary 16, 1950, a long le­gal bat­tle started. The first case was filed by a Hindu Ma­hasabha lawyer, Gopal Singh Visharad, in the Faiz­abad court, seek­ing per­mis­sion to wor­ship the idol and an in­junc­tion against shift­ing it. The court dis­al­lowed the re­moval of the idol. The next day, one Anisur Rah­man, filed a pe­ti­tion—the first le­gal vol­ley by Mus­lims in the dis­pute af­ter in­de­pen­dence.

In 1959, the Nir­mohi Akhara filed a suit claim­ing a tem­ple ex­isted at the Babri Masjid site in an­cient times and the land be­longed to the akhara. The suit was clubbed to­gether with other suits filed in the past. On De­cem­ber 18, 1961, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ut­tar Pradesh Sunni Cen­tral Waqf Board re­sponded. To­day, the Nir­mohi Akhara, Ram Jan­mab­hoomi Nyas (rep­re­sent­ing Ram Lalla) and Sunni Waqf Board are the three pri­mary par­ties in the dis­pute.

The ma­hant of Nir­mohi Akhara files a case, seeks nod to build a canopy on the Ram Chabu­tra. Plea re­jected by Faiz­abad dis­trict judge: “It is too late now to rem­edy the griev­ance”


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