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Sunni Waqf Board, Nirvani Akhara seek Ayodhya mediation

Sunni Waqf Board, Nirvani Akhara seek Ayodhya mediation

NEW DELHI: Two main parties from Muslim and Hindu sides have written to the Supreme Court mediation panel for resumption of negotiations for a settlement to the more than century-old dispute for ownership of the 2.77 acres Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya.
Sunni Waqf Board, which had filed a suit for ownership of the disputed structure in 1961, has written to the SC-appointed mediation panel, headed by former SC judge F M I Kalifulla and comprising renowned mediator and senior advocate Sriram Panchu and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, seeking resumption of negotiations which were stalled on July 29 because of the hardline stand taken by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s Maulana Arshad Madani faction as well as VHP-backed Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which proposes to construct a Ram temple at the disputed site.

A letter expressing similar sentiments was written by Nirvani Akhara, one of the three Ramanandi Akharas in Ayodhya which manages and controls the Hanuman Garhi temple. Both Sunni Waqf Board and Nirvani Akhara expressed confidence in the SC mediation panel to carry out last mile negotiations for a settlement, which was left in limbo when parties were in touching distance just because of hardline stands of two of the many stakeholders which participated in the mediation process for 155 days starting from March 8.
Another Ramanandi Akhara — Nirmohi Akhara — had also strongly pitched for a negotiated settlement of the dispute when an SC bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer agreed with Justice Bobde’s suggestion in this regard and set up the three-member panel. Nirmohi Akhara is seeking priestly rights for the idols at the disputed site.
When the negotiation was in the final stages, stakeholders from both sides, barring the Arshad Madani faction of JUH and the Nyas, had almost reached a consensus and outlined the structure of the settlement, the main points of which were: a) Muslims will give up claims over the disputed site which the Hindus want for construction of a Ram temple; b) Muslims will be offered an alternative site and funds for construction of a mosque; and c) implementation of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.
Sources in the parties which have sought resumption of negotiations said it would not be difficult for the SC bench headed by CJI Gogoi to allow resumption of the mediation process, which was close to inking a settlement, as it would go on alongside the hearing in the apex court. But the sources said it would require effort from all sides, which had agreed to the contours of a settlement threshed out by the mediation panel, to convince the two hardliners — the Arshad Madani faction and the Nyas — that a mutually agreed settlement would go a long way in furthering and nurturing fraternity between Hindus and Muslims.
TimesofIndia

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