FAIZABAD: The litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land case on Wednesday appeared before a three-member Supreme Court-appointed panel as it started an attempt to find a solution to contentious issue through talks.
A total of 25 litigants met the three-member mediation panel led by former SC judge F M I Kalifulla at Avadh University in Faizabad. The panel, which also includes spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, has been given eight weeks time by the top court to look at the possibilities of resolving the dispute amicably.
The panel members arrived in Faizabad on Tuesday and it is likely that they would remain in Faizabad for next three days. The meeting was also attended by Uttar Pradesh Advocate General Raghvendra Singh and Additional Advocate General Madan Mohan Pandey.
Talking to PTI, Swami Avimukteshwaranand of the Ram Janmabhoomi Punruddhar Samiti, said the meeting began at 10am and it was held in a 'harmonious' manner.
The participants also included Nirmohi Akhara's Mahant Dinendra Das and Triloki Nath Pandey who is representing Ram Lalla Virajman, Mahant Dharam Das appearing for Ram Abhiram Das and Mahant Suresh Das of the Digambar Akhara. Swami Chakrapani and Kamlesh Tiwari attended the meeting as representatives of the Hindu Mahasabha.
Litigants Iqbal Ansari, Mohammad Umar and Haji Mahboob also attended the meeting. Maulana Ashhad Rashidi represented Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at the meeting.
The head of the UP Shia Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi, and representatives from the Sunni Waqf Board also participated in the meeting. Earlier, notices were issued by the Faizabad administration to the 25 litigants on behalf of the panel. Only the participants were allowed to enter the meeting area.
Faizabad District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha told PTI that strict security arrangements have been made on the university premises to conduct the meeting in a peaceful manner.
The three-member mediation panel was appointed by a five-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi last week. While appointing the panel, the SC bench had said that "utmost confidentiality" should be maintained in the mediation proceedings.
Before appointing the panel for mediation, the top court had said that the issue is not about 1,500 square feet of land, but about religious sentiments.
"It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible," the bench had said
(with PTI inputs)