Muslim Leaders Welcome SC’s Mediation Order, Object to Ravi Shankar’s Presence in the Panel

16th century Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindu mob on 6th December 1992 in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Muslim intellect and socio-political leaders have raised their concern over Sri Sri’s inclusion, as he had openly asked Muslims to give up their legal claim over the disputed land

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – Muslim socio-political leaders and intellects have welcomed the Supreme Court’s mediation order but all have questioned the neutrality of the selected panel. Underlining religious guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s stand on Ayodhya issue, the leaders objected to Shankar’s inclusion as one of the panelists.

On Friday, the apex court has ordered for mediation over the Ayodhya issue and has even constituted a panel comprising former Supreme Court judge Justice F.M.I Khalifulla, Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Shriram Panchu.

Questioning the neutrality of the panel, Asaduddin Owaisi, Chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehdul Muslimeen, tweeted, “The general principle is that (the) mediators should be neutral to the parties of dispute, and should be unconnected to the subject matter. Most High Court Civil Procedure Mediation rules disqualify mediators who are connected to the subject-matter or parties.”

Objecting to Shankar being inducted as a panelist, he said, “Sri Sri had threatened that India would become like Syria if Ram Mandir isn’t built. He’s asked Muslims to give up their legal claim over the title of #Babri Masjid. How would he be a neutral mediator?”

Qasim SQR Ilyas, Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Babri Masjid committee, also questioned the inclusion of Shankar in the panel. Raising the issue of neutrality of the panel, Ilyas said, “We welcome the order. We have earlier said that the last effort to resolve the issue through negotiations should be made. But this should happen under judicial monitoring and in-camera. Our both demands have been accepted. We have an objection to the panel constituted by the court. We wanted the panel to be neutral. The panelist should not be one who favours one of the groups. This is not neutral. How can the person (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) who has already taken a side be neutral?”

Raising the same objection, Navaid Hamid, president, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, said, “This order of the Supreme Court for the mediation should not be seen in isolation. The past experience of the negotiations between parties involved has a history of failure. Muslims have been asking for judicial settlement because of the past experience of failure.”

Welcoming the decision, Zafar Mahmood, President of Zakat Foundation, said “This is a good decision. This reflects the good intention of the court. The matter is not related to property only, because of this property, many elections were won and lost. Much blood has been shed across the country and atrocities have been inflicted. It has lasted for more than 60 years. I think the first time the Supreme Court has talked sense in this regard. It is good if the real goal is achieved through mediation rather than deciding only on the basis of property right. I think it’s a good effort.”



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