Nearing twilight, litigants push for early solution

Nearing twilight, litigants push for early solution

Mohammad Hashim Ansari (right) with Nirmohi Akhara President Mahant Bhaskar Das at Naka Hanumangarhi Temple in Faizabad on Saturday. PTI

Ninety-year-old Mohammad Hashim Ansari, one of the main Muslim plaintiffs, and 80-year-old Bhaskar Das, chief of Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main Hindu plaintiffs, are also battling their age. “Perhaps realising this fact, they appear to be in a hurry to resolve the temple-mosque issue amicably out-of-court through mutual negotiations,” say those associated with their efforts.

While Bhaskar Das always maintained that his Akhara was ready to sit across the table and discuss the matter, Ansari began his efforts almost immediately after the September 30 Allahabad High Court’s verdict in the matter a few days ago.

Hashim has been saying that he wanted to see a resolution of the matter during his life time. “If the matter goes to Supreme Court, I may not live long enough to know its verdict,” he said.

While Hashim approached the All India Akhara Parishad President Mahant Gyan Das for speaking to the Hindu plaintiffs and defendants, Bhaskar Das did not allow his differences with Gyan Das to come in the way of the efforts. Bhaskar Das responded positively to Gyan Das’s overtures and for the first time, three of the main plaintiffs—Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla’s representative and Ansari—met in Ayodhya on Friday to discuss an acceptable formula.

The much-awaited meeting was held at the famous Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya and was chaired by Mahant Gyan Das.

 “A formula acceptable to all will be ready in about two months time...well before the expiry of the deadline for moving the apex court,” Gyan Das said after the meeting, but he declined to divulge the formula and also what transpired at the meeting.

“It will not be proper to divulge the details of the formula at this stage....however, the formula contained both a temple and a mosque,” Ansari said.

None of the three plaintiffs want any political interference in their talks, which was why Gyan Das refused to meet senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra when the latter visited Hanumangarhi temple on Friday.

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