Ayodhya mosque crisis



 More than 2,000 died after the Babri Mosque was torn down

The religious site where the Babri mosque was destroyed in 1992 in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya has been a flashpoint between Hindus and Muslims for years. BBC News looks at the troubled history of the disputed holy site.
1528: A mosque is built on the site which some Hindus say marks the spot where one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, Lord Rama, was born.
1853: First recorded incidents of religious violence at the site.
1859: British colonial administration erects a fence to separate the places of worship, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus.
1949: Idols of Lord Rama appear inside mosque allegedly placed there by Hindus. Muslims protest, and both parties file civil suits. The government proclaims the premises a disputed area and locks the gates.
1984: Hindus form a committee to "liberate" the birth-place of Lord Rama and build a temple in his honour, spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party (VHP).
 Mr Vajpayee has given cautious backing to a new temple

Then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani, now home minister, takes over leadership of campaign.
1986: District judge orders the gates of the disputed mosque opened to allow Hindus to worship there. Muslims set up Babri Mosque Action Committee in protest.
1989: VHP steps up campaign, laying the foundations of a Rama temple on land adjacent to the disputed mosque.
1990: VHP volunteers partially damage the mosque. Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tries to resolve the dispute through negotiations, which fail the next year.
1991: BJP comes to power in Uttar Pradesh state, where Ayodhya is located.
1992: The mosque is torn down by supporters of the VHP, the Shiv Sena party and the BJP, prompting nationwide rioting between Hindus and Muslims in which more than 2,000 people die.
1998: The BJP forms coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
 The arson attack on Ayodhya pilgrims in Godhra left 58 dead

2001: Tensions rise on the anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. VHP pledges again to build Hindu temple at the site.
Jan 2002: Mr Vajpayee sets up an Ayodhya cell in his office and appoints a senior official, Shatrughna Singh, to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders.
Feb 2002: BJP rules out committing itself to the construction of a temple in its election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. VHP confirms deadline of 15 March to begin construction. Hundreds of volunteers converge on site. At least 58 people are killed in an attack on a train in Godhra which is carrying Hindu activists returning from Ayodhya.
Mar 2002: Between 1,000 and 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, die in riots in Gujarat following the train attack.
Apr 2002: Three High Court judges begin hearings on determining who owns the religious site.
Jan 2003: Archaeologists begin a court-ordered survey to find out whether a temple to Lord Rama existed on the site.
Aug 2003: The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque, but Muslims dispute the findings. Mr Vajpayee says at the funeral of Hindu activist Ramchandra Das Paramhans that he will fulfil the dying man's wishes and build a temple at Ayodhya. However, he hopes the courts and negotiations will solve the issue.
Sept 2003: A court rules that seven Hindu leaders should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque, but no charges are brought against Mr Advani, now deputy prime minister, who was also at the site in 1992.
Oct 2004: Mr Advani says his party still has "unwavering" commitment to building a temple at Ayodhya, which he said was "inevitable".
Nov 2004: A court in Uttar Pradesh rules that an earlier order which exonerated Mr Advani for his role in the destruction of the mosque should be reviewed.
July 2005 Suspected Islamic militants attack the disputed site, using a jeep laden with explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the complex. Security forces kill five people they say are militants, and a sixth who was not immediately identified.
June 2009: The Liberhan commission investigating events leading up to the mosque's demolition submits its report - 17 years after it began its inquiry. Its contents are not made public.


SOURCE : BBC WORLD