New Delhi, Aug 8: Offering a solution to the Ram temple-Babri Masjid dispute, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh today told the Supreme Court a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a "reasonable distance" from the disputed site in Ayodhya.
With this submission, the Shia Board becomes the first Muslim organisation to come out in support of the demand of various Hindu bodies on the Ayodhya issue. The Hindu bodies while demanding that Ram temple be allowed to be constructed at the disputed site have suggested that a mosque could be built at a distance away from this area.
The affidavit, filed by Syed Waseem Rizvi, Chairman of UP Shia Central Board of Waqfs, disputed the claim of Sunni Waqf Board, saying the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.
Favouring construction of the mosque at a "reasonable distance" from the site, it said, "Closeness of places of worship i.e Masjid and Mandir of the two litigating denominations, should be avoided in as much as both denominations using loud speakers tend to disturb religious performances of each other, often leading to conflicts bringing acrimony in the two factions.
"Answering respondent (Shia Board) is also of the view that, to bring quietus, masjid can be located in a Muslim- dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purshottam Sri Ram."
The affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case.
The Shia Board, in its 30-page affidavit, said that the Sunni Central Waqf Board was under the dominant control of Sunni "hardliners, fanatics and non-believers in peaceful co- existence who have absolutely no stake in the present case."
Assailing the stand of the Sunni Central Waqf Board, it said, "...since Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf Board property, Shia Central Waqf Board UP alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with other remaining stakeholders."
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