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Bhaskar Das, the last chief litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, dies

The chief priest of the Nirmohi Akhada had been involved in the Ayodhya land dispute since 1949.

The chief litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case Bhaskar Das died early on Saturday at the age of 89. The chief priest of Ayodhya’s Nirmohi Akhada was admitted to the Harshan Heart Institute in Faizabad on Wednesday after complaining of severe breathing trouble, the Hindustan Times reported.

With Das’ death, both the chief litigants from the Hindu and Muslim sides in the Ayodhya case have died. Hashim Ansari, who was the oldest litigant in the case, died in July 2016 at the age of 95.

The dispute over the ownership of the 2.7-acre plot in Ayodhya has raged on for decades. Das had filed a claim to the Ram Janmabhoomi site’s ownership in 1949. The suit had claimed that there was no mosque referred to as the Babri Masjid at the disputed land.

Ansari had been involved in the case since 1949, when members of the Akhil Bharatiya Ramayana Mahasabha spent nine days reciting Ramacharitramanas outside the mosque and later placed idols of Ram and Sita inside it.

On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished by lakhs of Hindu karsevaks (volunteers) gathered at the site.

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