Mediation on Babri Mosque to continue, Indian court
CHANDIGARH: The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the mediation pro-cess to continue in the politically sensitive Muslim-Hindu dispute, concerning a mosque in north India and sought a report on its outcome by August 1.
Earlier this month, the five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had sought a report on the progress made in the mediation concerning the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the North Indian city of Ayodhya.
“As of now, the committee has filed a report detailing the current stage of talks. The report was filed on the basis of an order, passed by the constitution bench on July 11,” an Indian daily newspaper, The Hindu reported.
In March, the apex court ordered the mediation in the dispute, setting up a three-member panel headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifullah. Other members included spiritual Hindu leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and mediation expert Sriram Panchu.
The Babri Mosque is said to have been built by Mir Baqi, an officer in the court of Mughal Emperor Babur in 1526.
In 1885, a Hindu religious body filed a case in Faizabad district court, claiming that the site was birthplace of Hindu deity Lord Rama.
In 1949, a group of Hindus entered the premises and installed an idol of the Rama. Declaring the area disputed land, the then-government locked the premises, with the idol remaining inside.
The district administration of Faizabad, which administers the city of Ayodhya, opened the premises to Hindus in 1986, allowing them to carry out rituals.
In Dec 1992, thousands of activists belonging to extremist Hindu groups along with leaders of currently ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stormed the city and allegedly demolished the historic mosque, erecting a makeshift Hindu temple at its place.
The dispute has been languishing in India’s legal system for past 70 years, with no final outcome in sight. (AA)