Ayodhya settlement: Second round of talks on Feb 20
Ayodhya settlement: Second round of talks on Feb 20

Ayodhya settlement: Second round of talks on Feb 20


Even as the Supreme Court is set to hear the vexed Ayodhya title suit probably from March 14, another effort for an amicable solution would be initiated on February 20 when Muslims and Hindus would sit here to resolve it.

The new date for the meeting was decided after a delegation of Muslims met Art Of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bengaluru on February 8 to find an out-of-court settlement for the dispute.

The director of the Lucknow-based Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD), Athar Husain along with All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) executive member Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadwi, led the delegation to Bengaluru where Sri Sri has fixed a meeting of both sides in Ayodhya on February 20.

Meanwhile, AIMPLB member Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadwi has created a revolt of sort within the AIMPLB in its Hyderabad meeting on Saturday when he openly supported an amicable solution in the Ayodhya issue, while the other members opposed it and were in favour of a court's verdict. There is a pressure for expulsion of Maulana Salman from the AIMPLB though he refused to budge on his stand.

Indian Muslim League, UP president, Dr Mohammad Matin Khan too has demanded strict action against Mulana Salman but Shia cleric Dr Kalbe Sadiq maintained that an amicable solution was the only remedy in the issue.

Maulana Nadwi, who is currently in Hyderabad to attend the AIMPLB executive meeting, is expected to return here tomorrow.

According to the Sri Sri's formula, there is a proposal to shift the mosque to some other spot in Faizabad, but in return for a guarantee that all the other 400 mosques in India on the list of Hindu organisations should be safe and claims on them withdrawn. These include the contentious Varanasi and Mathura sites.

Sri Sri had visited Lucknow and Ayodhya in November last and had talked to the stake holders about amicable solution of the issue through talks. On November 16, he visited Ayodhya after meeting UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a day before to initiate the talks. Incidentally, Maulana Salman had also spoken about shifting the Babri masjid from the disputed site in lieu of the Hindu side not staking claim to the site of any other Muslim place of worship.

"Even if the court order is in favour of Muslims, it will be practically impossible to offer namaz on the premises in such a communally-charged atmosphere. AIMPLB is an organisation much like VHP that has no actual say in the matter, and only the stakeholders can decide. When an outfit like Karni Sena can rock the nation even after the Supreme Court's verdict, what more can be said about current circumstances," Maulana Salman said.

UP Sunni Central Waqf Board chairman Zufar Farooqui , however, said that the board is in court for the title suit but if negotiations are to be held with both sides at a place, the board is ready to be part of such discussions. Meanwhile, in another stand, the chief priest of Hanuman Garhi temple of Ayodhya and president of Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Nirmaan Samiti, Mahant Gyan Das, has offered to ‘gift’ Aurangzebi Masjid to Muslims if the minority community gives up its claim on Babri Masjid and allows Hindus to build Ram Mandir at the disputed site.

Mahant Gyan Das said here on Sunday that they are working on finding a solution to the dispute for long. "There is a proposal that Ram Mandir be constructed on the disputed site and Masjid be built out of Ayodhya. I say there is no need to construct the mosque outside Ayodhya. We will gift this mosque to Muslims to resolve this issue. A grand mosque can be built here,” he said.

Aurangzebi Masjid, also known as Aalamgiri Masjid or Argara Masjid, is located in Argara area of Ayodhya town. The 17th century mosque was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Nawab Shujauddaulah had donated the mosque’s land for Hanuman Garhi temple. The mosque had been lying abandoned for more than 300 years. Besides, no regular ‘namaaz’ was offered as the mosque is in possession of the temple.

The priests of Hanuman Garhi temple allowed Muslims to renovate the mosque and offer ‘namaaz’ in August 2016. (UNI)