Ayodhya group echoes need for 'amicable settlement'

The group is the Ayodhya-based 'Nirmohi Akhara', a prominent Hindu monastery that has been pursuing the cause of the much debated Ram temple for decades. Akhara chief Raja Ram Chandra Acharya drove down to Lucknow Friday afternoon to make a fervent appeal before the court to defer its verdict.

He was accompanied by his lawyer Ranjit Lal Verma, who told mediapersons: "We also feel that efforts must be made for an amicable settlement." Asked what made him change his stand at the eleventh hour, Verma said: "Well, that was the common  view of sadhus and saints of Ayodhya, hence we have come here to make a request for postponement of the judgment."

A low-profile retired government officer, Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, has hit the spotlight in the Ayodhya case thanks to his last-ditch effort to settle the dispute amicably and out of court. Tripathi, 73, has sought deferment of the judgment and the  special bench here will take a call on his plea later Friday -- exactly a week before it is scheduled to give ruling on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi temple tangle.

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