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Ayodhya dispute: Litigants appear before SC-appointed mediation panel

Press Trust of India  |  Faizabad (UP) 

Twenty-five litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-land case Wednesday appeared before a Supreme Court-appointed panel as it began an attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation, officials said.

The litigants and their counsels altogether over 50 people met the three-member panel on the premises here.

The has given the panel, led by former apex court F M I Kalifulla, eight weeks to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement over the disputed site in

The panel members, who also include spiritual guru Sri Sri and arrived in Faizabad Tuesday and are expected to spend three days here.

Advocate General and also attended the meeting.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand of the Punruddhar Samiti, said the meeting began at 10 am with over 50 participants.

The discussions were being held in a harmonious manner, he told

Nirmohi Akhara's Mahant Dinendra Das, who is representing Virajman, Mahant Dharam Das appearing for and of the Digambar Akhara were among the participants.

Swami Chakrapani and Kamlesh Tiwari appeared at the meeting for the Hindu Mahasabha.

Litigants Iqbal Ansari, and attended the meeting, where represented

Waseem Rizvi, who heads the UP Shia Waqf Board, and representatives from the also participated.

The had issued notices to the 25 litigants on behalf of the panel.

Authorities said only the participants were being allowed to enter the area where the meeting was taking place.

Strict security arrangements have been made on the university premises, said.

The panel in a letter had directed the to ensure foolproof security in and around the venue, and also necessary personal security for the litigants and their lawyers, the authorities said.

The is hearing 14 appeals against the 2010 judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre site in be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and

In 1992, a right-wing mob demolished the Babri Masjid, which many Hindus believe was built on the spot which marks the birthplace of Lord

While appointing the panel last week, a five-member bench headed by said "utmost confidentiality" should be maintained in the proceedings to ensure their success.

The apex court said the progress report on the mediation should be filed before it within four weeks and the proceedings should it be completed within eight weeks.

Earlier, the apex court observed that the issue is not about 1,500 square feet of land, but about religious sentiments.

The bench said it was conscious of the gravity and the impact of the issue on "public sentiment" and also on the "body politic of the country".

"It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible," the bench had said

The bench also said it was not appropriate to pre-that the mediation would fail and people would not agree with the decision.

We are not concerned what Babur did in the past or who was the and who invaded. We cannot undo what has happened but we can go into what exists in the present moment," the bench said when a contended that injustices were meted out to Hindus by invaders in the past.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 19:37 IST