Day after the verdict
Nirmohi Akhara refutes VHP claim on temple site
Aditi Tandon writes from Ayodhya
The fight now is no longer about building a Ram temple at the disputed site, which the court yesterday said was Ram Janmabhoomi. It’s now over who will manage Ram Lalla’s affairs.
The Nirhomi Akhara, which got one-third share in the hitherto disputed outer courtyard (comprising Ram Chabootra, Sita Rasoi, Bhandargriha), today told The Tribune that it would move the Supreme Court for the ownership of entire land — outer and inner courtyard and for the right to manage Ram Lalla who, as per court orders, will stay where He is — residing in the temple at the site. This permission came in the case, which the VHP-backed Triloki Nath Pandey (he holds the power of attorney on Parishad stalwart Ashok Singhal’s behalf) is contesting as the “next of friend of Ram Lalla”, the original petitioner.
Now, managing rights of Ram Lalla will also be claimed by the party which won for Ram Lalla the right to reside in a temple at His Janmabhoomi. The HC granted that right yesterday in the case which Deoki Nandan Aggarwal, former vice-chairman of the VHP, originally filed.
That explains why the VHP claimed the first victory yesterday and declared its intentions of not just building a Ram temple but also moving the Apex Court against the 33 per cent share of Sunni Wakf Board in the inner courtyard.
Asked if the Nirmohi Akhara was with them in this claim, Nrityagopal Das, president of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, set up by the VHP to build a Ram temple, said yes. But Akhara head Mahant Bhaskar Das today refuted the claim. “The VHP has been on its own in this case. They have never talked to us. We have the first right on Ram Lalla and were praying in this area before the Centre acquired it and handed over the makeshift Ram temple’s affairs to a court-appointed receiver. We want that right back,” he told The Tribune.
VHP sadhus, who prayed at the makeshift Ram temple today, also claimed they represented the Hindu aspiration of building a temple and would move the SC for ownership of the entire inner courtyard.
With cracks appearing in the so-called Hindu unity in this originally minority-majority fight, one thing became clear — the Hindu petitioners stand united only against the Muslim presence in the inner courtyard. Both the Nirmohi Akhara and the VHP will move the SC against the Muslim share but will battle it out to own Ram Lalla.
Nirmohi Akhara’s lawyer Ranjeet Verma said: “The High Court has wrongly dismissed our plea to manage Ram Lalla’s affairs. The other Hindu party was in this case only as next of friend of Ram Lalla and their claim is limited to establishing that the idol stood at Ram Janmabhoomi. That has been proved. The VHP can build a temple but only under our banner.”