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AIMPLB hails SC decision on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute

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Lucknow, Mar 8 : The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court referring the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation, saying it would be most befitting that the matter is resolved through negotiations.

"The Supreme Court has given this order and it needs to be welcomed.... It would be most befitting that the matter is resolved through dialogue...let's see what happens now," AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani told PTI over phone.

Welcoming the apex court asking for "utmost confidentiality" to ensure the success of the mediation process and barring the media from reporting about the proceedings, Rehmani said this would not only prevent distortion of the deliberations, but also act as a deterrent against taking the BJP-RSS agenda forward.

A senior member of the AIMPLB and the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, Zafaryab Jilani, said he was ready for this and welcomed the move.

Mahant Ram Das of the Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main litigants in the case, too welcomed the setting up of a panel of mediators, but said it would have been better had a Hindu judge, connected with the case, been included in it.

He added that besides the mediation efforts, the court hearing in the matter should also go on simultaneously so as to see that the case does not get prolonged further if the litigants are not satisfied.

"Earlier also, some efforts on this line had been made, but to no avail...therefore, the hearing should also go on," he stressed.

Mahant Ram Das also said the seers of Ayodhya needed to agree to this move.

Meanwhile, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, who is in the panel of mediators set up by the apex court, said he wanted a happy ending to the long-standing dispute.

In a tweet, he said, ".... Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society -- we must all move together towards these goals."

The Supreme Court on Friday appointed one of its former judges, Justice (retd) F M I Kallifulla, as the chairperson of the panel of mediators.

A five-judge constitution bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, directed that the mediation would be held at Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and the process should start within a week from Friday.

The bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said the panel would file a progress report on its proceedings within four weeks and the entire process should be completed within eight weeks.

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