The Ayodhya case hearings must be completed by October 18, the Supreme Court said, reopening the possibility of mediation to resolve the decades-old temple-mosque dispute if the petitioners so wanted.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that if parties want to amicably resolve the matter through mediation, they can still go ahead with it.n Gogoi remarked the court may extend the hearing by one hour and also sit on Saturdays if required and finish the hearings. However, he made it clear that the proceedings will remain confidential.
In 1885, a Hindu religious body asked a court for permission to construct a temple to honor the Hindu deity Ram inside the premises of the Babri Mosque, said to have been built by Mughal Emperor Babur in 1526. Permission was denied.
In 1949, a group of Hindus entered the mosque premises and installed an idol of Ram there. Declaring the area disputed land, the government placed the premises under lockdown, with the idol remaining inside with one official and one Hindu appointed as stewards of grounds.
In 1986, the local Faizabad administration opened the premises to Hindus, allowing them to carry out their rituals. In December 1992, thousands of activists from extremist Hindu groups and political parties along with BJP leaders entered the mosque and demolished it, erecting a Hindu temple in its place.
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