|Babari Masjid Movement Coordination Committee
AIMPLB Should Reject ‘Gift’ of Babari Masjid Site and Reiterate Judicial Option
Board Should Negotiate with Government Only
Decisions of the Meeting on 28 June, 2003
New Delhi, 28 June, 2003:
The Babari Masjid Movement Coordination Committee (BMMCC) held a meeting on 28 June, 2003 at the Central Office of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) to consider the progress of the Babari Masjid Case. 7 out of 10 Members were present.
On the proceeding relating to the title suit before the Special Bench of the Allahabad High Court, while expressing its satisfaction, the BMMCC felt that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) should take urgent legal steps to undo the amendment of the original plaint of the UP Sunni Wakf Board limiting the claim to the Babari Masjid site only and demanded that the title to all the 23 plots in dispute, including the Babari Masjid site as well as 10 adjoining plots should be taken up before the Special Bench. The BMMCC also requested the AIMPLB to engage more than one eminent lawyers for the final argument.
The BMMCC requested the AIMPLB to ask the Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry to summon Shri Kalyan Singh, former Chief Minister of UP, to record his evidence before closing the case.
The BMMCC requested the AIMPLB to make adequate arrangements for monitoring and ‘pairvi’ of the CBI case relating to the Demolition now being heard by the Special Court at Rae Bareli.
The BMMCC discussed in depth the situation arising out of the acceptance of the Shankaracharya Formula for an out-of-court settlement of the Babari Masjid dispute by the President of the AIMPLB, for consideration by the Working Committee on 6 July, 2003 and reached the following consensus:
1. The BMMCC recalled that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed its order for maintenance of status quo in the acquired area in March, 2003 which bars any religious or construction activity, the Special Bench is hearing the title suit on a day-to-day basis and a judgement is expected before the end of 2004, an out-of-court settlement which, in any case, need the consent of all the parties and endorsed by the court may prove to be more time-consuming,
2. The BMMCC took note of the fact that in March 2002, the Kanchi Shankaracharya had proposed that both sides should commit themselves to respect the judicial verdict. While on 8 June, 2003 he has publicly declared his endorsement of the VHP line that whatever the judicial decision, the Babari Masjid site shall be included in the site plan of the proposed Ram Mandir,
3. The BMMCC felt that the Shankaracharya Formula is designed and timed to serve the electoral interests of the BJP which has already announced that the Ram Mandir is on its agenda for the coming Assembly elections and there is no reason why the Muslim community should pave the way for the electoral victory of the BJP.
The BMMCC saw no reason why the AIMPLB may join hands with the Central Government in pleading with the Supreme Court to lift the status quo order or to allow the transfer of any part of the acquired area to the VHP/RJN for the construction of the Ram Mandir in accordance with its original site plan, while the title over the Babari Masjid site remains subjudice.
4. The BMMCC was of the considered view that an out-of-court settlement should be legally symmetrical and give concrete benefits to both sides. This means that an out-of-court settlement is possible only it the Hindu side abjures its claim on the Babari Masjid site and the adjoining wakf plots, revises the Mandir site plan accordingly and commits itself to dismantle the make-shift Mandir eventually and remove the Ram idols to the proposed Ram temple,
5. The BMMCC reiterated that the Muslim community has never had any objection to the construction of the proposed Mandir anywhere, so long as the sanctity of the Babari Masjid and the contiguous Qabristans are respected,
6. The BMMCC was also of the view that the Central Government should define its position on the Shankaracharya Formula and the AIMPLB should enter into further negotiation only with the Government in accordance with its Resolution of 20.1.2001,
7. Apparently the Shankaracharya Formula envisages that the Muslim community withdraw its claim on the Babari Masjid site and ‘gift’ it for the construction of the Mandir, the AIMPLB should reject the Formula, irrespective of the ‘price’ offered in terms of a substitute Masjid, within the acquired area or outside Ayodhya, or opening of Protected Masjids for purpose of Namaz or immunity for the Mathura and Varanasi Masjids and thousands of other Masjids claimed by the VHP or reservation for the Muslim community in public employment legislature, for the following reasons: -
a) Muslim community has been struggling since 1986 for the restoration of the Babari Masjid, whose site continues to be a Masjid, even after the demolition of the structure and the Masjid site is not negotiable; it is not on auction.
b) All other Masjids are protected by the 1991 Act.
c) There is the agreement of 1 March, 1984 between the Government of India and the AIMMM for the selective use of the Protected Masjids though it has been totally ignored by the Union Government/ASI.
8. To sum up, the BMMCC decides that:
1. The AIMPLB should reject, out of hand, any proposal which invokes the ‘gift’ of the Babari Masjid site for the construction of the proposed Ram Mandir.
2. The AIMPLB should enter into negotiation for an out-of-court settlement, only directly with the Government and with no one else.
3. The AIMPLB may allow the construction of a Temple in the acquired area, provided the site plan is revised to exclude the Babari Masjid site from the proposed Mandir and similarly the other side agrees to withdraw its claim on the Babari Masjid site, to remove the idol and to demolish the make-shift Mandir.
4. If there is no agreement, the AIMPLB should reiterate its position to wait for and accept the final judicial verdict.
Sd/- Syed Shahabuddin
Babari Masjid Movement Coordination Committee
N-44, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone: 2632
6780 Fax: 2632 7346 Email: