The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to begin hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case next month and said it was confident that a just verdict will be reached at the earliest, PTI reported.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy told ANI that he hoped that the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site would begin by Diwali, which falls on November 7 this year. He said his “fundamental right to pray at Lord Ram’s birthplace will prevail [after the verdict], paving way for construction of the temple”.
But All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said it would have been better if the court had referred the 1994 judgement to a larger bench, ANI reported. “Also, I have an apprehension that the enemies of secularism in this country will use this judgement to realise their ideological objectives.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court had refused to refer to a larger bench its judgement from 1994, which held that namaaz can be offered anywhere and that a mosque is not a “essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam”. The court had decided to first settle this matter while hearing petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 order in the land dispute. The High Court had ordered a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood before Hindutva activists demolished it in December 1992.
The top court will start hearing the original civil suit again from October 29.
The Congress said everyone should accept whatever the Supreme Court decides in the case. It accused the ruling BJP of using the topic to fool citizens since 1992. “The BJP has Ram on its lips but holds a knife on its side, it has Ram on its lips but Nathuram [who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948] in its heart,” the Congress said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said that a majority of the country wanted a solution to the dispute at the earliest. “We appeal that this matter be resolved as soon as possible,” he said, according to ANI.
Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti said: “This isn’t a matter of religious dispute as Ayodhya is an important religious place for Hindus because it is the Ram Janmabhoomi but for Muslims, it isn’t a religious place. For them it is Mecca.”
Bharti is among the BJP leaders who face charges of criminal conspiracy in connection with the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.