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Ram Mandir Nirman: Timeline Ahead of ‘Bhumi Pujan’

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Ram Mandir Nirman: Timeline Ahead of 'Bhoomi Pujan'

The construction of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is all set to begin this month. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Tirtha Kshetra, formed under the directions of the Supreme Court to facilitate the process, has been convening throughout July to fix actionable dates for the construction work to commence.

With the date of the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ scheduled for August 5, city of Ayodhya underwent a makeover of being painted in the auspicious colour of yellow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be presiding over the event on Wednesday.

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The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute originates with the construction of a mosque built by Babur in a land which Hindus have forever claimed to be the site of a Ram Temple demolished by Babur’s men who allegedly built the mosque over the Temple’s ruins. Ayodhya also marks the birthplace of Lord Ram.

Here is a timeline of the significant dates of the historical conflict between the construction of Ram Mandir vs Babri Masjid.

Chronology of Events:

Following a decades-long land dispute, the Supreme Court granted the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to deity Ram Lalla for building his Temple on November 9, 2019, in a historic judgment.

  • 1528 – Mir Baqi, Mughal Emperor Babur’s commander, builds Babri Masjid.

Babri Masjid build by Emperor Babur in the land of Ayodhya. (Image Source: Wikipedia)

  • 1859 – British Officials divide the areas of worship by erecting a fence — the inner court for the Muslims and the outer court to be used by Hindus.
  • 1885 – Mahant Raghubir Das’ plea to build canopy outside disputed structure gets rejected in the Faizabad district court.
  • 1949 – Idols of Ram Lalla get placed under the central dome. Muslims protest and both parties file civil suits, following which the government locks the gates, terming the premises to be disputed.
  • 1950 – Gopal Simla Visharad and Ramchandra Das file suits in the Faizabad district court seeking rights to worship the idols of Ram Lalla.
  • 1959 – Nirmohi Akhara enters the fray and files suit claiming possession rights over the land.
  • December 18, 1961 – UP Sunni Waqf Board files suit seeking possession of the site.
  • February 1, 1986 – District Court orders the government to open up the site to Hindu worshippers on the plea of Hari Shanker Dubey. Muslims set up Babri Masjid Action Committee. Rajiv Gandhi was then Prime Minister.
  • 1989 – Deoki Nandan Agarwala, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court, files a new suit representing Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla Virajman at Sri Ram Janma Bhoomi Ayodhya for declaration of the title and possession in its favour. Thus, BJP officially joins the movement.
  • August 14, 1989 – Allahabad High Court issues order to maintain status quo at the disputed structure.
  • November 1989 – VHP performs ‘Shilanyas’ ceremony in Ayodhya, establishing the first stone of the planned Ram Mandir.
  • September 25, 1990 – BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani launches Rath Yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya. During the yatra, Advani gets arrested in Bihar.
  • November 1990 – Several Karsevaks under Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders get killed in the clash with Uttar Pradesh police in Ayodhya.
  • June 1991 – Kalyan Singh of BJP becomes Chief Minister of UP and acquires 2.77 acres of land around the disputed area.
  • December 6, 1992 – Turning Point of the entire dispute, as Karsevaks, supporters of the VHP, the Shiv Sena and BJP demolish the Babri Masjid, prompting communal riots between Hindus and Muslims. More than 2000 people die.
  • April 3, 1993 – Center passes ‘Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act’ to acquire land in the disputed area. Several petitions filed challenging the act, including one filed by Ismail Faruqui in Allahabad High Court.
  • October 24, 1994 – Supreme Court says in the historic Ismail Faruqui case that the mosque was not integral to Islam.
  • April 2002 – Hearings begin in Allahabad High Court to determine ownership of disputed land.
  • March 13, 2003 – Supreme Court rules out religious activities of any nature at the acquired land in the Aslam alias Bhure case.
  • September 30, 2010 – Allahabad High Court verdict states in a 2:1 majority that the 2.77 acres of disputed land would be partitioned between Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
  • May 9, 2011- Supreme Court stays the verdict of the Allahabad HC and says to maintain the status quo after petitions were filed against it.
  • March 21, 2017- Former Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar suggests out-of-court settlement among rival parties.
  • August 7, 2017- Supreme Court constitutes a three-judge bench for hearing the pleas challenging Allahabad High Court’s verdict. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Shia Central Waqf Board tells that mosque could be built at a reasonable distance from the disputed land in a Muslim-dominated area.
  • November 20, 2017- UP Shia Central Waqf Board tells Supreme Court that Temple can be built in Ayodhya and mosque in Lucknow.
  • December 1, 2017- 32 civil rights activists file pleas challenging Allahabad HC’s verdict.
  • February 8, 2018- Civil appeal hearings start at Supreme Court.
  • March 14, 2018 – Supreme Court rejects all interim pleas trying to intervene in the case as other parties.
  • January 8, 2019 – Apex Court sets up a five-judge Constitution bench headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for the case hearing. Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud comprise the bench.
  • January 25, 2019 – The 5-member Constitution bench gets reconstituted with the inclusion of Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer in place of Justices NV Ramana and UU Lalit.
  • March 8, 2019 – Supreme Court refers the dispute for meditation of land title dispute by a panel headed by former S judge Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and comprising of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.
  • August 2, 2019 – Supreme Court declares that meditation has failed according to the report submitted by the Chairman of the committee. Day-to-day hearings commence from August 6.
  • October 16, 2019 – Supreme Court concludes hearing and reserves order.
  • November 9, 2019 – Supreme Court hands over the entire 2.77 acres of land to Ram Lalla and orders the setting up of a trust to facilitate the construction of a temple at Ayodhya. It also directs the Centre and UP Government to allot alternative 5-acre land to the Muslims in Ayodhya at a prominent place to build a mosque.
  • July 15, 2020 – Former DG of the Border Security Force, KK Sharma arrives at Ayodhya after becoming Ramjanmabhoomi Security Advisor to inspect the complex and hold meetings with concerned stakeholders.
  • July 16, 2020 – Nripendra Mishra, Chairman of the Ram Mandir Nirman Samiti, conducts his first meeting with administrative authorities of the district and trustees of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Tirtha Kshetra.
  • July 17, 2020 – Discussions continue regarding the architecture of the Temple. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath prepares a roadmap for the complete development of Ayodhya ahead of ‘Bhoomi Pujan’.
  • August 5, 2020 – Scheduled date of the ‘Bhumi Pujan’.

The ceremonies at Ayodhya began from Tuesday with the worship of the presiding deity of the city Lord Hanuman, continuous chants of Akhand Ramayan in all local temples, Deepotsava by lighting of oil lamps in houses, temples and the Sarayu River on the night of August 4-5.

Saints, seers from several spiritual traditions all over India, BJP and RSS leaders, office bearers and dignitaries of the VHP would be present. Strict social distancing regulations have been devised. As per officials, a 22.60 kg brick made of pure silver would be used for ‘Bhumi Pujan’. After this program, the construction work will begin in full swing and is expected to complete within six months to one year.

Current Updates:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Lucknow around 10:30 am and proceeded to ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi’.  Around 11:30 am PM Modi helicopter lands at Saket College Helipad in Ayodhya. UP CM Yogi Adityanath welcomes the Prime Minister as they head towards Hanuman Garhi temple. Amid COVID-19 pandemic only PM Modi, Yogi Adityanath and 175 people who figure in a select guest list of seers and politicians will attend the ceremony.

The Press Information Burea of India PM Modi will be planting a Parijat (Indian Jasmine) sapling and subsequently perform Bhoomi Pujan. Furthermore, Prime Minister will unveil a plaque to mark the laying of Foundation Stone and also release Commemorative Postage Stamp on ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’.

Prior to the Bhumi Pujan the Prime Minister and CM Adityanath took part in ‘pooja’ and ‘darshan’ at Hanumangarhi temple.

According to the reports, the Priest at Ram Temple ‘Bhumi Pujan’ said: “Nine bricks are kept here. These were sent by devotees of Lord Ram from around the world in 1989. There are 2 lakh 75 thousand such bricks out of which 100 bricks with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ engraving have been taken.”

The ‘Bhumi Pujan’ of the grand temple in Ayodhya, at a spot where devotees believe that Lord Ram was born, is said to take place at 12:40 pm, which is the ‘muhurat’ for the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Ram Mandir Nirman: Timeline Ahead of 'Bhoomi Pujan'

The ‘bhumi pujan’ of the temple in Ayodhya, is said to take place at 12:40 pm, which is the ‘muhurat’ for the foundation stone laying ceremony. – (Image Source: Twitter @Sriram_1204)

After the foundation stone laying ceremony was concluded, a stage event will follow shortly. Alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandiben Patel and President of Ram Mandir Trust Nitya Gopal Das will be present on the stage for the event.

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Ram Mandir Opening For “Darshan” In 2023

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Ram Mandir Opening 2023 | News Aur Chai

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to allow visitors by December 2023, with the completion of construction only in 2025.

Sources in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have revealed that the colossal project of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be opening for devotees towards the end of 2023. In contrast, the project’s entire construction completion is expected towards the end of 2025. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), along with the mandir’s first floor, will be ready by December 2023. Devotees will be allowed to visit the long-awaited mandir soon after the construction is completed.

An ANI report said, “The grand Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees from December 2023. Sources told ANI that Garbhagriha, all five mandaps and the first floor will be ready by December 2023 and the mandir will be opened for devotees”.

The sanctum sanctorum will be as high as 161 feet and built using Rajasthani marble and stones. Engineers and architects are taking all measures to ensure the longevity of this enormous project. The second stage of construction is expected to begin in December this year. Currently, the structure is at a standstill as a result of monsoons. Another reason for the delay is the coronavirus pandemic that depleted the force with which the mandir’s construction was expected to go on.

The announcement of the mandir being opened to visitors in 2023 has brought up questions about the political agenda. It is believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to use the mandir to catapult themselves into a position of advantage during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opening the mandir to devotees in December 2023 will give the BJP an easy 6-month gap to the general elections in 2024.

The opening of the long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya could be the factor that diverts the public, at least the Hindu’s in favour of BJP. Thus, securing them a vote bank based on religious sentiments upheld by the party in their previous tenure as the ruling party.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be 360 feet long, 235 feet wide, and 20 feet high mandir will be completely ready by the end of 2025. The project will include amenities and structures like museums, archives, research centre, Sant Niwas, gau and Yagya shala, Etc. The main attraction is the Ram Mandir.

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Centre to SC: Shreya Singhal Judgement- States Also Have Liability To Guarantee Individuals Not Troubled Utilizing Scrapped Section 66A

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Shreya Singh Judgement_66A II News Aur Chai

The Center has submitted to the Supreme Court that police and police requests being state subjects, the obligation to ensure the execution of the pronouncement that annuls Section 66A of the Information Technology Act belongs to the states. Further, the law requires organizations to share equivalent obligations to hold out the judgment.

On July 5, 2021, a Bench drove by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman said it was “upsetting,” “shocking” and “terrible” that individuals are as yet reserved and tried under Section 66A even six years after the apex court struck down the arrangement as unlawful and an infringement of free speech. The NGO People’s Union of Civil Liberties, represented by senior lawyer Sanjay Parikh and advocate Aparna Bhat, had made the court take notice of the contempt.

Undead segment: About Section 66A of the IT Act 

In its reaction, the Centre said the police and public request were “State subjects” under the Constitution. “Counteraction, location, examination and arraignment of wrongdoings and limit the working of the police are essentially the obligation of the States,” the Centre submitted in the affidavit. It said law requirement organizations share equivalent obligation to agree with the apex court judgment. They make a move against cybercrime offenders according to the law.

Spreading information 

The Centre said the Ministries of Information and Technology and Home Affairs gave a valiant effort to disperse information about the Supreme Court judgment in the Shreya Singhal case. Section 66A had suggested three years of imprisonment if an online media message caused “disturbance” or was found “terribly antagonistic”. Mr Parikh had welcomed the court intervention to work out a system to disperse the Shreya Singhal judgment to each police headquarters and preliminary court in the country.

“Section 66A of the IT Act has continued being utilized inside police base camp just as in cases under the attentive gaze of primer courts across India. This data was accessible on the Zombie Tracker site, created by a group of independent researchers. The discoveries of the site uncover that as of March 10, 2021, upwards of 745 cases are as yet forthcoming and dynamic under the steady gaze of region courts in 11 States, wherein the denounced are being indicted for offences of the IT Act under Section 66A.” the PUCL has acquiesced.

The accommodation has been in the rejoinder affidavit filed by PUCL in the apex court. This response was because of the Centre’s counter-affidavit in a petition filed by PUCL looking for different bearings and rules against the FIRs scraped under the struck-down Section 66A.

PUCL in, its rejoinder affidavit through Advocate Aparna Bhat, has contended that the Union of India should not have avoided its commitment by arguing that the obligation of execution lies with the States just as with the law enforcement agencies. It mentioned alluding to Union’s accommodation in its affirmation that ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are state subjects. Accordingly, the obligation rests with the State.

Alluding to the Centre’s accommodation that they had mentioned Chief Secretaries, all things considered, and Administers of Union Territories to outfit information for arraignments summoning Section 66A get-togethers, PUCL has contended that the reaction to the said letters have ‘nor set on record nor unveiled.’ PUCL has been tending that looking for removal of its application mentioning the execution of the judgment downplays the enormous scope infringement of the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to fair trials of citizens.

The applicant has proposed the additional directions to be given by the Court in the matter: 

  1. Directions to High Courts: 

The applicant has looked for specific bearings to every one of the High Courts through Registrar Generals. The proposed headings ought to impart to every one of the District Courts and Magistrates that forthwith there ought to be no cognizance taken under the revoked Section 66A of the IT Act. It had been expressed that the High Courts be permitted to start Suo Motu contempt procedures against those liable for enlisting a case under Section 66A or for examining it or for indicting it.

  1. Directions to DGPs: 

The applicant has recommended that bearings are given to the Director-General of Police and Union Territories to convey to all police headquarters inside their separate locales to show a notification that Section 66A of the IT Act has been scrapped. Also, no case can be enrolled under the cancelled Section 66A of the IT Act.

  1. Directions to Respondents: 

Decisions have looked to the Respondents, Union of India, to accumulate the nuances of the cases enrolled by the Police or Law Enforcement Agencies under Section 66A of IT Act since the judgment of Shreya Singhal revealed by coordination with the chief secretaries of the DGP of the States and Union territories.

As per the applicant, Respondents can coordinate to guarantee that Doordarshan and All India Radio make quarterly declarations in significant vernacular dialects advising the public that Section 66A of the IT Act is presently not in power. The applicant has looked for bearings to guarantee that all authority and business forms of the IT Act that are here in after distributed (on the web or disconnected) do exclude the total content of Section 66A and educate the per user that said arrangement stands revoked.

The Shreya Singhal judgment had delivered by the seat which, lifted Section 66A by Judge J Chelameswar and RF Nariman for a violation of Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The judgment wrote by Justice Nariman held the arrangement to be obscure, over the edge, and making an alarming impact on free discourse.

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SC/ST Act Misuse: Alleged Fraudulence Of The Atrocities Act?

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SC/ST Atrocities Act II News Aur Chai

The Government of India, recently, claimed in an answer to the MPs of Rajya Sabha, that according to research, many states have conviction rates that are even lower than 1%.

In the year 2019, there were a total of 41,793 incidences of crime or atrocities against Dalits and 7815 cases of crime against tribal people. According to the report, only 44 out of 6540 cases of crimes or atrocities against Dalits in Bihar have been proven factual in trial courts. The STs filed a total of 97 cases under the SC-ST Act, but only two were judged to be true.

The conviction rate was 0.67 percent for men and 2.06 percent for women. It also stipulates the state with the most cases of crime against SCs is Uttar Pradesh, with 9451 cases, or 22.61 percent of all such cases in the country. Rajasthan comes in second with 6659 cases (15.9% of total cases), followed by Bihar (15.6%), and Madhya Pradesh (12.6 percent). In the last year, the number of ST cases filed in UP has increased by 600 percent.

According to the information, 705 cases were filed, however just one case was found to be true during the trials. The conviction rate in Kerala and Karnataka is slightly more than 1%. The SC-ST Act has been used in 1,733 cases in Karnataka. The conviction rate, on the other hand, was only 1.67%. In Kerala, the average conviction rate for atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis under the PoA Act remained at 1.76%. These claims sure put the concerned legislation on spot for being exploited.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, aimed to prohibit the atrocities committed against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, to establish Special Courts for the trial of such offences and the relief and rehabilitation of victims of such acts, and to provide for matters connected with or incidental thereto.

The number of complaints against the misuse of the same has arisen in the last few years. The apex court has had stated in the past, that the Act has been misused to submit bogus complaints to foster caste animosity, rather than blurring caste barriers, adding that, if the Atrocities Act is not brought into line, it may even “perpetuate casteism,” and the court will have to act to prevent “false implication of innocent persons along caste lines.”

However, when seen through the lens of why the Act was necessary and how well it was administered, a different image emerges. The court’s stated goal in a 2018 ruling for the Prevention of Atrocities Act, was to safeguard officers from “arbitrary arrest” and “innocent civilians” from being falsely accused in cases. But according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the Ministry of Home Affairs, low conviction rates under the Act may be due to the misuse of the provision as much as the way investigations and cases are pursued in the courts.

Those who have pushed for stricter rules under the Act argue that the low conviction rate is due to the way cases are registered and prosecuted. “Dalits are frequently the victims of discriminatory treatment in the administration of justice,” according to a Human Rights Watch report.

According to a report published in the Economic & Political Weekly, approximately half of the cases brought under the Act do not get to court and are closed by the police. It had also hinted at a “caste bias among the investigating officers.” Sthabir Khora, an assistant professor, alleges that compounding, compensation inducement, and criminal intimidation are some of the practices that tend to prevail when the complainant is from the SC/ST category.

In October 2019, the top court observed the National Crime Records Bureau, where over 47,000 cases were reported in 2016 under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “It would be against the basic human dignity to treat all of them (SC/ST members) as a liar or as a crook person and cannot look at every complaint by such complainant with a doubt,” remarked justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai.

The bench stated that if a case filed under the SC/ST Act is determined to be false or baseless, many a time. It could be due to poor investigation or other factors such as human failures, regardless of caste. Therefore, all such accounts must be taken into consideration before making an informed decision to serve justice.

The bench had also added, “All humans are equal including in their failings. To treat SCs and STs as persons who are prone to lodge false reports under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act for taking revenge or otherwise as monetary benefits made available to them in the case of their being subjected to such offence, would be against fundamental human equality.”

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