Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 18
Muslim parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case on Friday attacked the Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel for “leaking” the details of its proceedings to the media.
“The leak to the press may have been inspired by either Mediation Committee directly or those who participated in the said mediation proceedings or participants. (It needs emphasis that such a leak was in total violation of the orders of the Supreme court that had directed that such proceedings should remain confidential,” advocates for Muslim parties said in a statement.
In a statement released to the media, they also expressed shock over reports that the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Wakf Board was withdrawing from the case and that it was ready to relinquish its rights over the disputed land at Ayodhya.
“The recent attempts before Mediation Committee were not representative,” read the statement signed by advocate Eijaz Maqbool, who represented key Muslim litigant M Siddiq in the Ayodhya land dispute and four other advocates — Shakil Ahmed Syed, MR Shamshad, Irshad Ahmad and Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi.
“It is difficult to accept that any mediation could have been done under the circumstances, especially when the main Hindu parties had openly stated that they were not open to any settlement and all the other Muslim appellants made it clear, but, they would not do so,” they said.
The three-member mediation panel headed by Justice FMI Kalifulla had submitted its report to the top court on October 16, the day a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserved its verdict on the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute at Ayodhya.
The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Wakf Board is said to have agreed to give up its claim on the disputed site if Muslims’ interests are protected. It is understood to have demanded that 22 dilapidated mosques be reconstructed by the government, sources said, adding that it has also demand Muslims be allowed to offer namaz in mosques under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Besides the Sunni Waqf Board, some Hindu organisations, such as Nirvani Akhada and Ram Janmabhoomi Punruddhar Samiti, were said to be in favour of a negotiated settlement.
Sunni Wakf Board counsel Syed Shahid Rizvi had on Thursday confirmed that it has submitted a proposal for amicable settlement of the vexed problem that has defied any solution for several decades.
“The parties have reached a settlement before the mediation panel….I cannot divulge the details. Mediation is already done and over. Other parties, who did not seek it, must read the terms of the settlement and sign it. There is a chance of settlement,” Rizvi had told reporters. It’s in the interest of unity and integrity of India, he had added.
A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India — which reserved its verdict on 14 cross-appeals against the Allahabad High Court’s September 30, 2010 judgment equally dividing the 2.77 acre disputed land between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Muslims — held in-chamber proceedings on Thursday to consider the settlement proposal but details of the proceedings were not known.
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