Monday, March 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Muslim board rejects seer’s proposal
Tells Centre to prohibit ‘bhoomi pujan’
Tribune News Service and agencies

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board tonight said it would move the Supreme Court in a day or two to restrain the VHP from carrying out “bhoomi pujan” at the site in Ayodhya on March 15.

New Delhi, March 10
The Ayodhya tangle became knottier today as the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board rejected the Kanchi seer’s proposal for the construction of Ram temple near the disputed site and asked the Centre to prohibit any symbolic “bhoomi pujan” on March 15.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was closeted in a meeting at his residence late this evening with Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, Defence Minister George Fernandes (who is also the convener of the National Democratic Alliance) and Law Minister Arun Jaitley to assess today’s developments.

Heads of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board during their meeting
Heads of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board during their meeting on the Ayodhya issue in New Delhi on Sunday.

Convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee S. Sahabuddin and others members
Convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee S. Sahabuddin and others members of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board during their meeting on the Ayodhya issue in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI photos

In a day of fast-paced developments, the AIMPLB adopted a resolution after a seven and a half hour-long meeting rejecting Kanchi Shanakarachrya Jayendra Saraswati’s proposal as “incomplete” as four important documents were not made available to it by the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas. The documents demanded were: *Formal proposal in writing, *Copy of the temple construction plan. *Copy of the site plan in colour and *Copy of the undertaking given by the Nyas to the Prime Minister.

In the evening, Mr Yusuf H. Muchala told reporters that without the construction plans “it is difficult to understand the purported written undertaking given by the Nyas”.

The resolution also said that it was not clear as to how the Nyas was entitled to undertake such constructions and further the linkage between the Nyas and other Sangh Parivar organisations like the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the RSS had not been clarified.

Another ground for the AIMPLB’s rejection of the Kanchi seer’s proposal was that it did not contain any assurance to the Muslims that if they win the title suit, the construction plan of the proposed temple would be sutiably amended to shift the Garbh Griha elsewhere and there will be no obstruction in the way of construction of the mosque on the site.

The AIMPLB resolution made another important point in rejecting the Kanchi seer’s proposal. “The proposal ensures the commencement of construction of the Ram temple with immediate effect while the Muslims are merely asked to wait for the final judicial verdict,” it says.

A glaring difference between the approach of the AIMPLB and the VHP was that while the AIMPLB leader Yusuf Muchala categorically stated that the Board would accept whatever verdict the Supreme Court was to give on Ayodhya issue, VHP leader Pravin Togadia declined to give any such undertaking saying such questions were “hypothetical”.

Meanwhile in the first signs of trouble for Sunday’s crucial emergency meeting of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari decided to boycott the deliberations and also question the basis and locus standi for such an exercise.

The BJP tonight said the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s rejection of Kanchi Sankaracharya’s formula was “under pressure” from the Congress, Left parties and Samajwadi Party.

MUMBAI: At an emergency meeting, the state unit of Ulma-e-Ahle Sunnat, which claims to represent 80 per cent of Muslim across India, also demanded that symbolic “bhoomi pujan” should not be allowed at Ayodhya. Representatives of the All India Sunni Jamaitrul Ulma, All India Sunni Taligi Jamat, All India Tablig-e-Seerat, Tanzim Aimali Masajid, Sunni Tehrik Aimai Masajid, All India Muslim Council and Sunni Darul Uloom, among others, were present.Back


AG’s opinion sought

New Delhi, March 10
The government, at a high-level meeting tonight, sought Attorney General Soli J. Sorabjee’s opinion on the options before the government following the AIMPLB’s rejection of the Ayodhya compromise formula suggested by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati. UNI

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