AYODHYA/LUCKNOW,Arshad Afzal Khan & Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui(TOI): There’s fresh hope for an out-of-court settlement for the 65-year-old Ayodhya title suit as negotiators have come up with a formula that suggests that the 70 acres of disputed premises would accommodate both a mosque and Ram temple with a 100-feet high wall separating them.
Mohammed Hashim Ansari is one of the oldest pititioner of Ayodhya title suit. (TOI file photo by Piyal Bhattacharjee)
Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant from the Muslim side, and Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Gyan Das, met at Hanuman Garhi on Monday to discuss the proposal. Nirmohi Akhara, the litigant from the Hindu side, comes under the Akhara Parishad. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad would not be involved with the negotiation process, Ansari and Das said.
Das told TOI, “We’ve discussed our proposal with almost all the Hindu religious establishments and main spiritual leaders. Everyone seems to be agreed. Soon, we’ll meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and present our negotiation proposal before him and seek his help and cooperation for the peaceful solution of this dispute.”
He added, “The VHP is not a party to our peace process, as its leaders never want to build Ram temple, they just want to create communal tension.”
Convener of All India Babri Masjid Action Committee Zafaryab Jilani said he has full faith in Ansari and his stand in the courts till date. “Based on my discussions with him, I can say his stand is that of all the Muslims in India, and there’s no reason to believe that he would change his stance.”
Jilani, who is seen as a crusader for re-building the Babri Masjid, said of the eight original petitioners, Ansari and Sunningdale central Waqf Board happen to be the only two original petitioners. “The rest of the original petitioners have died but their inheritors are pursuing the case,” he said.
Gyan Das was away from Ayodhya for the past three months looking after the religious services at Nasik Kumbh and Ujjain. He came back to the temple town on Monday morning when Ansari went to meet him.
“We’re in favour of construction of both Ram temple and Babri Masjid adjacent to each other but with a huge wall of more than 100 feet in between, as we want to avoid any dispute later. We are drafting the final points of negotiation draft which will be presented before the Supreme Court soon after the hearing restarts,” Das said.
While the case is being heard by the Supreme Court, various parties involved with the dispute are also exploring the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.
The Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute is continuing since 1950. The Allahabad high court pronounced its verdict on September 30, 2010, saying that the disputed spot was Lord Ram’s birthplace, that the mosque was built after the demolition of a temple, and that it was not built in accordance with the tenets of Islam.
The court had ruled that two-thirds of the disputed site should be allocated to Hindu groups, with the remainder to Muslims. The case then went to the Supreme Court which in its order dated January 27, 2013, ordered status quo in the area governing the disputed site.
“We are not in favour of any action that makes our Musllim brothers think they are losers. So, we strongly condemn VHP and BJP’s stand that mosque should be built out of panchkosi parikrama boundaries of Ayodhya, we don’t care from for handful of VHP leaders. We only care for the people of India,” said Das.