National Commission for Minorities chief Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi on Sunday said the Ram temple must be built in Ayodhya, PTI reported. “Hindus must be allowed to build a Ram temple there [Ayodhya] so that Muslims can live peacefully, respectfully and without any fear while contributing to the development of the nation,” he said.

Rizvi was referring to the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid land dispute case that the Supreme Court had adjourned to January. The panel’s chief said it was important to resolve the dispute quickly to improve ties between the communities.

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 verdict granting a three-way division of the land on which the Babri Masjid stood till 1992, when Hindutva activists demolished it. The High Court had ruled that the land be divided equally between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Hindu organisation Nirmohi Akhara, and the deity Ram Lalla (infant Ram), which is represented by the Hindu Mahasabha.

In August, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board told the Supreme Court that it wants to settle the Ayodhya dispute peacefully and is willing to give the Hindu community one-third of the land the Allahabad High Court had granted to Muslim petitioners so that they can build a Ram temple.

Rizvi said some Muslim organisations had sought the panel’s intervention to hasten the court trial. On November 14, the panel will take a decision on moving the Supreme Court on the matter, he said. “The National Minority Welfare Organisation and some other outfits have sent us reports that the Muslim community in the country is living in fear,” Rizvi told PTI. “They have urged the commission to take an initiative to improve the current atmosphere,” he added.

Rizvi said the Muslim organisations wanted members of their community to support the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site to ensure that similar controversies do not occur again. “Even I believe that in Ayodhya, neither mosques can be built, nor namaz can be offered. The place has a sentimental value for 100 crore Hindus,” Rizvi said.