The Ayodhya dispute (Hindi: ??????? ????? , Urdu: ??????? ????? ) is a political, historical and socio-religious debate in India, centred on a plot of land in the city of Ayodhya, Faizabad district, Uttar Pradesh. The main issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded as the birthplace of the Hindu God Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque. The Babri Mosque was destroyed by hardline Hindu activists during a political rally which turned into a riot on December 6, 1992.
A subsequent land title case was lodged in the Allahabad High Court, the verdict of which was pronounced on September 30, 2010. In the landmark hearing, the three judges of The Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2. 77 acres (1. 12 ha) of Ayodhya land be divided into 3 parts, with 1/3 going to the Ram Lalla or Infant Lord Rama represented by the Hindu Maha Sabha for the construction of the Ram temple, 1/3 going to the Islamic Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining 1/3 going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara.
While the three-judge bench was not unanimous that the disputed structure was constructed after demolition of a temple, it did agree that a temple or a temple structure predated the mosque at the same site.  The excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India were heavily used as evidence by the court that the predating structure was a massive Hindu religious building.  Timeline of the debate Year Date Event 1528The Babri Mosque was built in Ayodhya in 1528. Hindu groups claim it was built after demolishing a temple. 1853The first recorded communal clashes over the site date back to this year. 859The colonial British administration put a fence around the site, denominating separate areas of worship for Hindus and Muslims. And that is the way it stood for about 90 years. 1949In December of that year, idols were put inside the mosque. Both sides to the dispute filed civil suits. The government locked the gates, saying the matter was sub judice and declared the area “disputed”. 1961Case filed in Indian courts against forceful occupation of the Babri Mosque and placing of idols within it. 1984The movement to build a temple at the site, which Hindus claimed was the birthplace of Lord Ram, gathered omentum when Hindu groups formed a committee to spearhead the construction of a temple at the Ramjanmabhoomi site. 1986A district judge ordered the gates of the mosque to be opened after almost five decades and allowed Hindus to worship inside the “disputed structure. ” A Babri Mosque Action Committee was formed as Muslims protested the move to allow Hindu prayers at the site. 1989The clamour for building a Ram temple was growing. Fronted by organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, foundations of a temple were laid on land adjacent to the “disputed structure. 1990The then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani took out a cross-country rathyatra to garner support for the move to build a Ram temple at the site. VHP volunteers partially failed. Many were gunned down by the police on orders of the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Sing Yadav, when they gathered in Ayodhya as participants of the Rath-Yatra and their bodies were thrown in the river Saryu. 1991Riding high on the success of Advani’s rathyatra, and annoyance at the previous regime’s killings of the Kar Sevaks, the BJP became India’s primary opposition party in Parliament and came to power in Uttar Pradesh. 991The movement for building a temple gathered further momentum with Karsevaks or Hindu volunteers pouring into Ayodhya. Bricks were sent from across India. 1992December 6The Babri Mosque was demolished by Karsevaks. Communal riots across India followed. 1992December 16Ten days after the demolition, the Congress government at the Centre, headed by PV Narasimha Rao, set up a commission of inquiry under Justice Liberhan. 1993Three months after being constituted, the Liberhan Commission began investigations into who and what led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque. 001Tensions rose on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque as the VHP reaffirmed its resolve to build a temple at the site. 2002February 27At least 58 people were killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on a train believed to be carrying Hindu volunteers from Ayodhya. Riots followed in the state and over 3000 people were unofficially reported to have died in these. 2003The court ordered a survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Ram existed on the site. In August, the survey presented evidence of a temple under the mosque. Muslim groups disputed the findings. 003SeptemberA court ruled that seven Hindu leaders, including some prominent BJP leaders, should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque. 2004NovemberAn Uttar Pradesh court ruled that an earlier order which exonerated LK Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed. 2007The Supreme Court refused to admit a review petition on the Ayodhya dispute. 2009The Liberhan Commission, which was instituted ten days after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992, submitted its report on June 30 – almost 17 years after it began its inquiry.
Its contents were not made public. 2010September 30The Allahabad High Court pronounces its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute on September 30, 2010. Ayodhya land to be divided into 3 parts. 1/3 goes to Ram Lalla represented by Hindu Maha Sabha, 1/3 to Sunni Wakf Board, 1/3 goes to Nirmohi Akhara.  2010DecemberThe Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Wakf Board moved to the Supreme Court of India, challenging part of the Allahabad High Court’s verdict.