The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday said Hindu parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case had neither been approached nor had they participated in any mediation exercise, PTI reported. The Hindutva outfit’s Working President Alok Kumar said reviving the “mediation bogey” after the conclusion of hearings appeared to be a “mischief and an effort to cause confusion”.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s statement came a day after reports suggested that the parties in the title dispute had reached an agreement. The Sunni Waqf Board, a party to the conflict, said the settlement would be a “win-win” for both Hindus and Muslims.

However, advocate Eijaz Maqbool, who represented Muslim litigant M Siddiq, on Friday said all Muslim parties except the Sunni Waqf Board had rejected the settlement offer as the main Hindu parties were not part of the mediation process and the purported agreement.

Alok Kumar said waiting for the top court’s verdict was in the interest of the country and the litigants. He added that the Hindu parties had specifically conveyed to the mediators that they were no longer interested in mediation. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader added that the Hindu parties had participated in several earlier mediation efforts without any success.

The five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserved its judgment on Wednesday after a marathon 40-day hearing. The top court allowed the parties to make the rest of the submissions in writing by Saturday. The verdict is expected before Gogoi retires on November 17.

The daily hearings in the case began on August 6 after the mediation attempt failed. The top court, however, allowed the mediators – former Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla, religious leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and senior advocate Sriram Panchu – to push for dialogue even as the hearings continued.

The dispute is several decades old, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to the land. The Babri Masjid stood there before Hindutva activists demolished it in 1992.

Scroll’s coverage of the Ayodhya dispute can be followed here and here.

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