'Out of court' solution for Ayodhya sparks row

Sharp differences have surfaced over reported attempts to find an “out-of-court” solution to the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue.

The recent meeting between Kanchi seer Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati and senior All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali had raised hopes of a settlement of the matter in some quarters.

Retired justice Palok Basu also held a meeting with muslims in Ayodhya recently to find a solution to the issue. Basu had earlier also met the Muslim representatives in Ayodhya with a similar objective.

Though Firangimahali had made it clear that meeting with the seer was a “courtesy call”, an aide of the seer later claimed that the Shankaracharya had met the well-known sunni cleric to resolve the matter amicably and out of court.

Firangimahali later said that there was “no question” of any “out-of-court” settlement of the issue. “The AIMPLB has already made it clear that the Muslims will abide by the order of the Supreme Court,” he said. The matter is pending in the apex court.

Another Board member and senior lawyer Zafaryab Jilani also ruled out any out-of-court settlement. “We should now leave the matter to the Supreme Court,” he remarked, when asked about the efforts. Justice (Retd) Basu has also launched a signature campaign and asked Hindus and Muslims to sign on the compromise worked out by him.

Though he claimed that the response to the signature campaign was good, sources revealed that so far only a few hundred Muslims have supported it.

The Hindu Mahasabha, one of the parties in the dispute, has also opposed the efforts. Muslim leaders feel that the compromise formula was loaded heavily against them. “It is akin to a surrender and will never be accepted by the muslims,” the Muslim leaders said.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2010, by a majority verdict, divided the disputed land into three parts for the three contesting parties namely, the Muslims, Hindus and the Nirmohi Akhara.

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