Mahant Bhaskar Das, one of the oldest litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and the president of Nirmohi Akhara, died today, two days after suffering a heart attack.
He was 90, Pujari Ram Das, his successor to the Akhara, said.
The Mahant, who was the oldest litigant from the Hindu side, had suffered a heart attack late on Thursday evening and was admitted to a private hospital here. He died this morning, he said.
Mahant Bhaskar Das was cremated on the banks of river Saryu in Ayodhya this afternoon. His last rites were performed by Pujari Ram Das.
Condoling the death of the Mahant, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in Lucknow, "The death of Mahant Bhaskar Das is an irreparable loss to the society. I pray to God for peace to his soul."
Pujari Ram Das said, "There were two original litigants in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. One was Nirmohi Akhara and the other was Sunni Central Waqf Board."
He said, "After Nirmohi Akhara moved the court in 1956 (claiming ownership of the disputed area), Sunni Central Waqf Board lodged its claim in 1961."
"Mahant Bhaskar Das had very good relations with the Muslim community of the twin towns of Ayodhya and Faizabad," Captain Afzal Ahmad Khan," a Muslim leader said.
Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, had died last year at the age of 95.
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