Hours after the Supreme Court hearing the Ayodhya case referred the decades-old Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir title dispute for mediation by a three-member panel, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has expressed reservations over the presence of Art Of Living founder and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in it. Owaisi said that it would have been better if the top court had decided on a neutral person.
The three-member panel will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge FM Kalifulla. Besides Ravi SHankar, the other member on the panel will be senior advocate and mediation expert Sriram Panchu. Owaisi said his concern was rooted in Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s earlier comment that India will become Syria if Muslims don’t give up their claim on Ayodhya.
AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on SC order in Ayodhya case: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who has been appointed a mediator had earlier made a statement ‘if muslims don’t give up their claim on Ayodhya,India will become Syria.’ It would’ve been better if SC had appointed a neutral person. pic.twitter.com/PthrJvYYdY
ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2019
On Friday, the Supreme Court referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case to a mediation panel and handed it eight weeks time to conclude the proceedings. The top court also issued directions that the panel’s proceedings be kept confidential. The mediation process, monitored by the court, would take place in Faizabad and the Uttar Pradesh government would take the responsibility for its facilitation.
Making the mediation process a time-bound process, the court said that the mediation process should start within four weeks and be concluded within eight weeks. It also gave additional room and added that mediators can co-opt further on the mediation panel if needed and also allowed them to get more legal assistance as and when they required it.
Reacting to the court’s order, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said on Twitter, “Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society – we must all move together towards these goals.”
On Wednesday, when the Supreme court said that it wished that the matter be resolved by mediation. The parties representing the Hindus along with the state of Uttar Pradesh opposed the suggestion arguing that whenever the dialogue has been initiated previously, Muslim parties stage a walkout at the last minute. Muslim parties, however, stated said they were ready for negotiations.
Hindu groups filed their strong objection in the court, post which the court decided to reserve its order and asked for names from all the involved parties who would be representing them during the mediation process.
In the past, there have been at least four failed attempts by different governments in the country and other prominent personalities to resolve the issue by mediation.