Ayodhya: No, Sunni Board Hasn’t Withdrawn its Claim

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The historic Babri Masjid at Ayodhya was demolished by Hindu extremists on Dec 6, 1992.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI – “No, Sunni Waqaf Board has not filed any affidavit seeking withdrawal from the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir suit.” Dr SQR Ilyas, member of All India personal Law board told Caravan Daily over phone from Supreme Court.

He said these are all rumours that are being peddled in the media.

Many news outlets in India and abroad on Wednesday morning reported that the Sunni Waqf board, a party in the legal matter pertaining to Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir dispute is giving up its claim.

Today is the last day for hearing in the case. It will conclude at 5 pm. “We have already asked all the interveners to apportion the time accordingly,” Chief Justice of India said.

According to latest reports the Supreme Court has reserved the judgement after 40 days of hearing. The Supreme Court asks parties to file written submissions on the moulding of relief in three days, Indian Express said.

In 1992 a mass of right wing Hindu descended into the city of Ayodhya and demolished the Mughal era Babri masjid in broad day light triggering communal clashes across the country. The actions of the mob have been seen as the assault on the secular fabric of the country.

The right wing forces have been claiming that the site of mosque is the birthplace of Ram and lay legal claim. The matter is in court since early 50s.

The top court is hearing appeals against the September 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court. The high court had divided the disputed 2.77 acres of land, including the spot where the Babri Masjid stood until December 6, 1992, and the area around it, equally among the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Central Waqf Board, UP, and Ramlalla Virajman.

The bid to arrive at a negotiated settlement to the dispute via a mediation process failed after Ramlalla Virajman said no to further mediation. Days later, the side arguing for the mosque also turned down an invitation by the Supreme Court-appointed mediators.

With the closing in of the verdict, the Ayodhya administration has tightened curbs imposed under Section 144 till December 10.

Apart from the Sunni Waqf Board there are six other Muslim parties contesting the suit.

Quoting senior lawyer Rajiv Dhawan who is representing the Sunni Waqf board, the Quint, a prominent news portal, reported that the Board is not withdrawing its claim to the title.

Noted lawyer M R Shamshad who is counsel for one of the parties in Ayodhya case, also refuted the rumours of Sunni Waqf board withdrawing from the title suit. However, he added, the actions of the chairman of the board has undergone a sea change over last two months. Moreover, he said that the Board has no more locus than the other parties.

There are reports of a possible rift between members of the board following FIRs against its chairman Zafar Ahmed Faruqui. The Uttar Pradesh government has recommended an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Faruqui into alleged illegal sale and purchase of land for the board.

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