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Muslims launch signature campaign for resolution of Ayodhya dispute

Undeterred by the failure of past such attempts, a group of Muslim professionals and intellectuals have embarked on a signature campaign for a negotiated settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi land dispute.

lucknow Updated: May 09, 2019 16:09 IST
M Tariq Khan
M Tariq Khan
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Ayodhya dispute,Signature campaign for resolution,Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi land dispute.
Khan, who claims to have obtained the signature of more than 1,000 Muslims, has now started an online petition to take his campaign to other states to create consensus and  for an amicable solution acceptable to all parties.   

Undeterred by the failure of past such attempts, a group of Muslim professionals and intellectuals have embarked on a signature campaign for a negotiated settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi land dispute.

One of the groupmembers Aftab Ahmed Khan, the man who has undertaken the initiative, is no stranger to the task he has cut out for himself. As DIG CRPF – the force entrusted with the security of the disputed site in Ayodhya – from 1990 to 1992, he has been in the thick of action and seen the events related to the row, up close and personal.

Now settled in Lucknow, Khan, who retired from the services recently, is not alone in his endeavour. The All India Muslim Forum for Ayodhya Dispute Settlement, which he has floated to convince Muslims to give up their claim on the disputed land as a ‘goodwill’ gesture, has former Allahabad High Court judge justice BD Naqvi, ex-commissioner, customs and central excise, Tariq Ghauri, former UP minister Moid Ahmed, businessmen and other distinguish Muslim professionals.

“I have been holding discussions with not only my friends and colleagues but with Muslim litigants in the case also, whose names I would not like to reveal at the moment. I can say for sure that Muslims are willing to give up their claim. It is only a handful of leaders with vested interest and a section of the clergy, which is an obstacle in finding an amicable settlement to the problem,” he said.

Khan, who claims to have obtained the signature of more than 1,000 Muslims, has now started an online petition to take his campaign to other states to create consensus and for an amicable solution acceptable to all parties.

“It is an attempt to bring minority and majority communities together and reach a final settlement as soon as possible, without interference of the vested interests, whose only interest is to prolong the dispute to harvest political gains. We will handover this signed petition to the Supreme Court appointed mediation panel on Ayodhya once the campaign gets over,” he said.

The Forum has shortlisted four main points after discussions with a cross-section of the community members.

THE PROPOSAL

(i) Muslims of this country, as a goodwill gesture, may voluntarily offer to give disputed land at Ayodhya for construction of a Ram temple at that site.

(ii) In exchange, sufficient land (say approx. 10 acres) be allotted to Muslims at a suitable place at Ayodhya for construction of a beautiful mosque (and other suitable structure) there as per wishes of Muslims of this country.

(iii) Further and most importantly, an assurance from Hindu brothers, backed by the Supreme Court or approved by the President of India may be given to the effect that no further dispute shall be raised for and about any other Muslim religious place in the country, i.e. status quo as on the eve of independence is to be maintained for all time to come.

(iv) At the same time, it may also be prescribed and responsibility for enforcing fixed on certain persons, like local MP, MLA, DM and SP, to strictly enforce the provisions of the law passed in 1991, namely The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Any infringement of the provision of this Act may attract both administrative and legal action against the erring party.

First Published: May 09, 2019 16:08 IST