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Ayodhya dispute: Many Muslims willing to give mediation a chance, says litigant

After holding the first round of meeting with all the 25 litigants in the case in Ayodhya on March 13, the Supreme Court appointed mediation panel has held more than three dozen separate sessions with individual parties

lucknow Updated: Jul 12, 2019 10:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
ayodhya issue,SC hearing in Ayodhya issue,ram janambhumi-babri masjid issue
According to a Muslim litigant in the Ayodhya dispute, a section of hardliners from both the sides, who had opposed the idea of mediation at the outset, were again trying to thwart the attempt for finding a solution through negotiations.(HT File Photo )

The plea in the Supreme Court by Rajendra Singh, survivor of Gopal Singh Visharad, one of the original litigants from the Hindu side in the Ayodhya land dispute, demanding closure of mediation proceedings and day-to-day court hearing in the matter, has not come as a surprise to some of the petitioners in the case.

“A similar statement demanding commencement of court hearing rather than looking for an out-of-court solution was given by the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) here in Lucknow on June 20,” said one of the Muslim litigants requesting anonymity.

According to him, a section of hardliners from both the sides, who had opposed the idea of mediation at the outset, were again trying to thwart the attempt for finding a solution through negotiations.

After holding the first round of meeting with all the 25 litigants in the case in Ayodhya on March 13, the Supreme Court appointed mediation panel has held more than three dozen separate sessions with individual parties.

Also Read | Supreme Court seeks report on Ayodhya talks, considers daily hearing

But these meetings were not limited to Ayodhya alone.

“The mediation panel was overwhelmed by representations and letters of support from several civil society groups and Muslim intellectuals, who too wanted to depose before it. Consequently, the committee met these people in groups and also held one-to-one sessions in Lucknow, Delhi and even in Chennai and other cities,” said a retired professor from Lucknow, who attended one such meeting.

“We have held discussions with a large number of people within the community, consulted religious scholars, academicians and professionals from various fields. Majority of them are in favour of an out-of-court solution but they want that the central government should also be made a party to the talks,” said another prominent Muslim, who met the panel members in Lucknow on June 18.

He said while the Uttar Pradesh government was already party in the case, bringing the Centre or any of its representatives on board would give more weightage and authority to the possible reconciliation for the temple-mosque dispute.

“Any acceptable or negotiated settlement would have little meaning without involving the Centre or its representative in the mediation process as the issue is no longer limited to Ayodhya alone and has national ramifications,” said another Muslim member of a civil society group.

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 10:05 IST