Babri Masjid case's Hashim Ansari passes away
The oldest litigant involved in the Babri Masjid case, Mohammad Hashim Ansari, passed away in the early hours on Wednesday. He was one of the plaintiffs that filed the suit on behalf of Sunni Central Board. 95-year old Ansari, breathed his last at his residence in Ayodhya, and is survived by his son, Iqbal, who said the death was due to prolonged heart ailments.
1949: Babri Masjid Case
The Babri Masjid dispute, a conflict spanning decades, arose when idols of Lord Ram and Sita were placed in the Babri mosque. The Hindus claimed that the Babri mosque had been built at the site by demolishing a temple that stood there earlier, to mark the region in Ayodhya as Ram's birthplace. The Muslims claimed the mosque had been present there for several years.
Government locks disputed land
The area under the Babri Masjid that resulted in religious property conflicts, was later locked by the government in 1949, barring entry. Both Hindus and Muslims filed suits against the ownership of the Babri Masjid. Mohammad Hashim Ansari was the first person to file the civil suit in Faizabad over differences he had with two other Hindus, who also proceeded to file suits later.
1954: Ansari jailed for giving azaan
Hashim Ansari was put behind bars for over two years citing that he called for namaz in the Babri Masjid. The sentence was effected in 1954 by the Faizabad court.
1992: Babri Masjid mosque pulled down
In late 1996, the Babri Masjid mosque was brought down, and in its place, preparations for constructing new temple had begun. The demolition was aided by Hindu volunteers. As soon as the mosque was demolished, riots across India followed. Although committees were formed to investigate the disputed land, the BJP-led government had wished to go ahead with the temple's construction.
Babri Masjid verdict
Ansari, along with five other plaintiffs represented the Sunni Central Waqf Board, to fight the civil suit. The Allahabad High Court later pronounced the verdict on the disputed land, stating that one-third of the site will be given to Lord Ram's devotees called Nirmohi Akahara. The rest of the land, amounting to two-thirds, was distributed equally amongst the two divisions.
Post the dispute, Ansari wished for a new start
Four years after the verdict, Hashim Ansari had expressed that he wished to bury the past disputes and start afresh. Speculations ran rife that he would be withdrawing from the case, although Ansari later clarified that his son, Iqbal, would be contesting the case.