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Ayodhya Ram temple-Babri masjid issue is again gaining prominence with the emergence of new faces around the dispute. Over the past few weeks, apart from the original litigants viz. Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the Ayodhya issue has witnessed Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, UP Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi, apart from a self proclaimed descendant of the Mughals joining the league of figureheads trying to resolve the issue out of court. While, Waseem Rizvi has already staked claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya by proclaiming it as a Shia Waqf property, since it was built by a Shia military commandor, Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, the self-styled descendant of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, has asserted he was the legal heir of the demolished mosque complex, since it was built by his ancestors, the Mughals. Giving a new twist to the drama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had last month announced to make efforts for an out-of-court settlement of the long pending dispute and claiming to have been in touch with the Hindu and Muslim religious figures to this end. On Wednesday, Ravi Shankar arrived in Lucknow and called upon Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to discuss the Ayodhya matter and his mediation proposal.
He is scheduled to visit Ayodhya on Thursday to hold talks with the various stakeholders, including the seers and Muslim parties with a view to finding an out of court settlement.Rizvi had also earlier met Adityanath in Lucknow to apprise him of the Shia Board’s position, which is to allow the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site and construction of mosque in a Muslim dominated locality of the temple town for lasting peace and communal harmony between the two communities. The Adityanath government has proposed to build a grand 100 metre Lord Ram statue in Ayodhya. However, the estimated Rs 200 crore project would need clearance by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Meanwhile, All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has announced to support the stand of AIMPLB on the Ayodhya issue, which favours settlement of the dispute through a court verdict. On December 5, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear appeals relating to the Ayodhya dispute. A three-judge bench had been constituted to hear bunch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict relating to the ownership title of the disputed site. The various parties and individuals claiming to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute have said they would apprise the court of their stand before the hearing takes place next month.