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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Oldest litigants in Ayodha dispute want closure before they die

Sachidanand Shukla/Pankaj Jaiswal, Hindustan Times  Ayodhya, October 09, 2010
First Published: 16:38 IST(9/10/2010) | Last Updated: 17:07 IST(9/10/2010)

The two oldest litigants in Ayodhya title suit, Mohammad Hashim Ansari from All India Sunni Wakf Board and Mahant Bhaskar Das, head of the Nirmohi Akhara, on Saturday morning, had a maiden meet post-verdict.

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Hashim, 90 and Bhaskar Das, 82 in a joint statement said: “We want the matter to be resolved for once and for all during before we pass away. We do not want the dispute to be inherited by the next generation”.

At the end of the meet Nirmohi Akhara said that it already had “some” direct telephonic talk with the Wakf board as well. At the same time, Hashim Ansari categorically said: “I was not doing anything in individual or personal capacity. Every move of mine has consent of both the Wakf board and the Muslim personal law board”.

Both the Hashim Ansari and Bhaskar Das said that at this point in time there was no set formula, and all the efforts that have been initiated and were for evolving the one that would be cordially acceptable to both the sides.

The first thing that Hashim Ansari and Bhaskar Das did was to embrace each other. Hashim had entered the Naka Hanuman Garhi meeting hall taking his footwear off. He draped a ‘Ram-naami duppatta’ (an ochre drape with Ram printed all over) on Bhaskar Das, while the latter put a green drape on the former. The green is considered the most significant colour by Muslims.

The meeting involved no close-door meeting and was a public posturing to send out the message that now the two rivals were extremely serious about resolving the dispute amongst themselves within Ayodhya and in a time frame of 60 days.

Minutes before the Hashim was to set out to Bhaskar Das’ premises, scene at the two residences—Hashim and Bhaskar Das had a drama. Suddenly, the Additional District Magistrate (City) and the Superintendent of Police (City) reached Hashim’s place and asked him to wait. The police provided him the special security cover and under the norm combed the entire Naka Hanuman Garhi premises. And once the police was sure of the Hashim’s safety, he was allowed to proceed.

Consequently, the meeting scheduled for 11 am could begin half-an-hour late.

The meeting apart from Bhaskar Das and Hashim Ansari had latter’s son Iqbal, Ram Das the heir apparent to Bhaskar Das and Gyan Das was represented by Sanjay Das. Gyan Das is the main mediator from both the sides and he was the one who orchestrated the meeting and all the meetings between different people.

Bhaskar Das while talking to newspersons said: “Hashim, I with the mediation of Gyan Das are working on a possible formula to sort out the matter. Muslims would help in making the temple and Hindus would pitch in to make a mosque.”

Hashim said that politicians would be kept out of the entire peace process. He said: “If the Hindus and Muslims together got India the Independence then why can’t they be together now? Because, politicians do not let them be”.

Gyan Das and Bhaskar Das too have been given security cover.

Hashim and Bhaskar Das while calling it a day held hands and wished for Hindi-Muslim unity.


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