Babri Masjid (IAST:Bābarī Masjid) (translation: Mosque of Babur) was a mosque in Ayodhya, India at a site believed by some Hindus to be the birthplace of Hindu deity Rama. It has been a focus of dispute between the Hindu and Muslim communities since the 18th century. According to the mosque’s inscriptions, it was built in 1528–29 (935 AH) by general Mir Baqi, on orders of the Mughal emperor Babur. The mosque was attacked and demolished by Hindu Karsevaks in 1992 and ignited communal violence across the country.

The mosque was located on a hill known as Ramkot (“Rama’s fort”).[2] According to Hindus, Baqi destroyed a pre-existing temple of Rama at the site. The existence of the temple itself is a matter of controversy.[3] In 2003, a report by the Archaeological Survey of India suggested that there appears to have existed an old structure at the site.[4]

Starting in the 19th century, there were several conflicts and court disputes between Hindus and Muslims over the mosque. In 1949 Hindu activists associated with the Hindu Mahasabha surreptitiously placed idols of Rama inside the mosque, after which the government locked the building to avoid further disputes. Court cases were filed by both Hindus and Muslims asking for access.

On 6 December 1992, a large group of Hindu activists belonging to the Vishva Hindu Parishad and allied organisations demolished the mosque, triggering riots all over India, killing around 2,000 people, many of them Muslim.[5][6]

In September 2010, the Allahabad High Court upheld the Hindu claim that the mosque was built on the spot believed to be Rama’s birthplace and awarded the site of the central dome for the construction of a Rama temple. Muslims were also awarded one-third area of the site for the construction of a mosque.[7][8] The decision was subsequently appealed by all parties to the Supreme Court, wherein a five judge bench heard a title suit from August to October 2019.[8][8][9] On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court quashed the lower court’s judgement and ordered the 2.77 acre land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple. It also ordered to the government to give an alternate 5 acre land to Sunni Waqf Board.[10]

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