DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Saturday ruled in favour of a Hindu group in a long-running legal battle over a centuries-old religious site also claimed by Muslims, in a judgement that paves the way for the construction of a Hindu temple at the site.
The top court also directed that an alternate land parcel be provided to a Muslim group.
The dispute centres around who should control the land upon which lie the ruins of the 16th-century Babri Mosque, destroyed by a Hindu mob in 1992.
Following is a timeline of the events that have shaped the case:
The mosque in Ayodhya, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, was built by Mughal emperor Babur, according to documents produced by Muslim groups in court.
Muslim groups accuse government officials of conniving with Hindu monks to place an idol of an infant Lord Ram in the grounds of the mosque.
A first suit is filed in a court near Ayodhya, seeking permission to worship the idol of Lord Ram.
A court orders locks to be opened at the disputed site and that Hindus be allowed to pray there.
Thousands of Hindu activists, led by politicians of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), tear down the mosque.
Hindu-Muslim riots erupt across northern and western India. Rights group estimate more than 2,000 people were killed.
A three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court in Uttar Pradesh ruled that the site of the mosque should be divided into three parts between the three main parties in the case.
The Supreme Court stays the high court’s order.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India begins day-to-day hearings to resolve the case. On November 9, court rules in favour of Hindus. The ruling paves the way for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site in the northern town of Ayodhya, a proposal long supported by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist party.