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Mixed response by Ayodhya dispute litigants on Supreme Court’s decision

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down requests for an early hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute and said the top court will decide the course of hearings in the first week of January.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2018 23:00 IST
Pawan Dixit and Tariq Khan
Pawan Dixit and Tariq Khan
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya/Lucknow
Ayodhya dispute,Supreme Court,Babri Masjid
In a 2010 decision, the Allahabad high court had ordered the trifurcation of the 2.77 acre disputed site between the Nirmohi Akhada, the Sunni Waqf Board and the deity of Ram Lalla.(HT Photo)

The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to push back hearings in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case to January evoked mixed reactions from the litigants. The Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which spearheads the Ram temple movement, said it was disappointed.

In a 2010 decision, the Allahabad high court had ordered the trifurcation of the 2.77 acre disputed site between the Nirmohi Akhada, the Sunni Waqf Board and the deity of Ram Lalla. All parties had opposed the decision and challenged it before the top court.

The Nirmohi Akhada said it will wait for the court’s judgment. “We have faith in lord Ram. Despite the delay, we will wait for the court’s judgment. Bringing an ordinance or framing law is no option. This will further complicate the issue,” said Dhinendra Das of the Akhada.

The outfit had earlier said it was willing to give up its share of the land in favour of the Waqf board for the construction of a mosque and had criticised the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 by a mob.

“This should not have happened. Regular ‘puja’ of Ram Lalla was going on. There was no need to demolish the structure... a dispute was created by politicians for their vested interests,” Das added.

But Triloki Nath Pandey, who represents Ram Lalla, termed the apex court’s decision as unfortunate. “We have given enough time to the court. Now, the Centre must bring an ordinance and frame a law for construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” Pandey said.

He drew a parallel to the government efforts earlier this year to restore provisions of the SC/ST Act and asked why the same couldn’t be done for the Ram temple. “Hindus cannot wait any more.”

Senior counsel for the Waqf board, Zafaryab Jilani, said they wanted the Supreme Court to give them time and a patient hearing.

“It is not for us to condemn or welcome the order. We feel that the court should give us ample opportunity and also opposing parties sufficient time to present their facts and evidence in the case,” he said. He said his clients had strong documentary evidence to support their claim and that the Allahabad high court judgment had relied on faith, not facts.

“The matter should be adjudicated legally on merit, on the basis of available facts and incontrovertible evidence and not on the basis of faith.” He also reiterated that they would abide by the court verdict.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, said his organisation’s patience was wearing thin and that he wanted the Centre to intervene. “All these years we have waited patiently for the court’s judgment. But today we feel cheated. For how long we have to wait?” said Das.

“Ram Mandir must come up now or it will never be constructed. Now, the only option before the Centre is to bring an ordinance for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” he added.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 23:00 IST