Tuesday, June 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

SC refuses to intervene
Order on Ayodhya excavation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9
The Supreme Court today declined to intervene in the Allahabad High Court’s order for excavating the area around the disputed site at Ayodhya to find out if any temple existed at the place where the Babri masjid stood till December 6, 1992, before it was demolished by a mob.

Dismissing a petition by a Muslim citizen against the March 5 order of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, a Bench comprising Mr Justice R. C. Lahoti and Mr Justice Brijesh Kumar said he had no locus standi to challenge the high court directive.

Mr Naved Yar Khan in a special leave petition (SLP) had sought the apex court’s intervention in the matter, contending that the high court’s order for excavating the site would set a bad precedent for future and open a pandora’s box on all disputes regarding the religious places.

The apex court said the petitioner had no locus standi to challenge the order as he was not a party to the title suit pending before it. If he had any grievance, he could raise it before the high court.

He further had stated that the high court order would tantamount to overriding the Supreme Court’s 1994 order for maintaining status quo at the disputed site at Ayodhya till the final decision on the suits, filed by rival parties on the temple-mosque controversy.

The apex court had earlier rejected Mr Khan’s plea on the ground that he had not complied with its directive to remove the technical deficiency in it as he had filed a writ petition, while any order of the high court could only be challenged through a SLP.



Muslims, VHP flay Vajpayee, seer

New Delhi, June 9
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati today came under attack from prominent Muslim groups and the VHP, a day after they suggested that the political parties should keep off the Ayodhya issue and that Muslim leaders favoured the handing over of the disputed site to Hindu religious leaders.

Muslim community leaders dismissed the seer’s claim as “wrong” and “baseless” and stressed the matter be left for the judiciary to decide.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad rejected Mr Vajpayee’s suggestion of a negotiated settlement of the Ayodhya issue and said the only way to resolve the tangle was the enactment of a law by Parliament for the construction of a Ram temple.

Muslim groups also questioned the pontiff’s assertion that he was holding talks with the community, saying “neither he nor the government is talking to any authorised leader or organisation”.

“It is unfortunate that an esteemed religious leader like the Shankaracharya is making such a baseless claim,” All-India Muslim Personal Law Board convener S. Q. R Ilyaas said here.

All-India Milli Council leader M. Manzoor Alam said the assessment of the Kanchi seer was “wrong.” Even if he has conducted some kind of an opinion poll, he must not have reached nine per cent, what to talk about the majority.”

All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) president Syed Shahabuddin said, “I can say he (the Kanchi seer) is not holding any talks with any responsible or authorised Muslim organisation or individual,”

He said, “The matter is pending in the court and we should let it decide the issue.”

“Whether a temple should be built at the site or a mosque can be decided only by the Supreme Court as the title suit is being heard there,” Mr Shahabuddin said, adding that Muslims had declared they would accept the court verdict even if it went against them.

The Muslim groups agreed with Mr Vajpayee’s remark that the Ayodhya issue should not be politicised but added that he should “practice what he preaches”.

“If the Prime Minister himself implements what he has said, it will be good. But the fact is that Mr Vajpayee and his party have taken a political stand on the matter and rake it up at the time of elections,” Mr Ilyaas said.

VHP leader Ashok Singhal said in Ayodhya that there could not be any negotiated settlement now and if political parties were keen to solve this issue, they should enact a law for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

Senior VHP leader Giriraj Kishore hailed the suggestion of Kanchi Shankaracharya that political parties should not interfere in the Ayodhya issue.

While BJP allies Samata Party and JD (U) welcomed Mr Vajpayee’s suggestion that political parties keep away from the Aydohya issue, the CPM and CPI described it as “misleading” and “diversionary” tactic and demanded the issue be settled by the court.

The Congress too went along with the Left parties, saying that it would accept whatever was decided by the Supreme Court.

Spokesmen of Samata Party and JD(U) said Ayodhya issue should be settled either by the judiciary or through negotiations between religious leaders.

But the Left parties suggested that it was Mr Vajpayee’s party which had sought to politicise the issue.

CPM General Secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet told reporters in Kolkata that “it is the Prime Minister who had gone to the court for vacating the stay on the acquired land at Ayodhya, obviously to build a temple there. So how can he justify his yesterday’s statement of no politics over Ayodhya? This is misleading.”

He said the CPM wanted the Ayodhya issue to be resolved by court.

CPI national secretary Shameem Faizi said the Prime Minister’s statement was “another diversion” from court proceedings and the matter has to be settled through court.

The RSS reacted cautiously to the Kanchi seer’s view of a negotiated solution and expressed the hope that he would take into account Sangh Parivar’s stand in search for a settlement.

BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu said his party would go by the advice of the Prime Minister that political parties keep off the Ayodhya issue. PTI



VHP begins ritual for temple support

Lucknow, June 9
In the second campaign within a year to give an impetus to the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today began a ritual at Kar Sevakpuram to enlist the support of over 5 crore people for the move.

At least 200 saffron bags, enclosed with ‘Ram Rakhsa Sutra’ (sanctified thread), a map of the proposed temple and soil from the disputed site, are being consecreated at a yajana being held at Kar Sevakpuram in Ayodhya, Purshottam Narain Singh, in charge of the VHP in Uttar Pradesh told said on the telephone.

He said these sacred bags would be carried to the length and breadth of the country and distributed among Hindus, asking them to take a pledge not to rest until Ram Temple was constructed at the disputed site.

“We expect to prepare over five crore people, through this campaign for construction of Ram temple at the disputed site”, he added.

The organising secretaries touring the country would tie ‘Ram Raksha Sutra’ on the forearms of Hindus. Senior VHP leaders, including its president Ashok Singhal and general secretary Praveen Togadia, would take part in the yajana, he said. PTI


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