The Supreme Court has delivered a historic verdict in the Ayodhya case – the disputed land has been given to a government-run trust for a temple and alternate land in the city will be allotted for the construction of a mosque. The unanimous judgment came after decades of legal tussle over a piece of land in Ayodhya where the 16th century Babri masjid stood before it was brought down in 1992 by right-wing activists who claimed it to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
While political leaders have welcomed the decision and appealed for calm, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board is contemplating filing a review petition. “The judgment is against our expectations. We presented solid evidence to prove our stance. Our legal committee will review the judgment. We have sincerely tried to fulfill our responsibility to restore the demolished,” the boards Twitter handle said.
The Sunni Waqf Board also said they “respect the judgement, but are not satisfied”.
“The Ayodhya verdict holds no value for us. We are dissatisfied with the verdict. It has a lot of contradictions. We will seek a review,” the Sunni Waqf board’s lawyer Zafaryab Jilani said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Ayodhya verdict will “reaffirm people’s faith in judicial process”. While urging all to maintain peace and unity, PM Modi said that the verdict shouldn’t be seen as a win or loss. “The Honourable Supreme Court has given its verdict on the Ayodhya issue. This verdict shouldn’t be seen as a win or loss for anybody. Be it Ram Bhakti or Rahim Bhakti, it is imperative that we strengthen the spirit of Rashtra Bhakti. May peace and harmony prevail!” PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi also praised 130 crore Indians for maintaining calm in the run-up to today’s verdict. “May this very spirit of unity and togetherness power the development trajectory of our nation. May every Indian be empowered,” he added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the judgment will strengthen India’s social fabric. “I urge everyone to take the verdict with equanimity and magnanimity,” he said.
Nitish Kumar, Chief minister of Bihar, said that the verdict will be beneficial for social harmony. “There should be no further dispute on this issue,” he urged.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari has also appealed to all to accept the verdict.
The Congress has also appealed to all the parties concerned to abide by the secular values and spirit of fraternity enshrined in our Constitution.
“It is the responsibility of each one of us to reaffirm our tradition of mutual respect and unity among all that has defined our society through the ages,” the party’s official statement said.
“This is Mahatma Gandhi’s country and it’s our responsibility to maintain peace and harmony,” said Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Randeep Surjewala of the Congress said that the judgment not only opened the doors for the temple’s construction but also closed the doors for BJP and others to politicise the issue.
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who was part of the Ayodhya mediation panel, welcomed the judgment.
Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the RSS, advised that “this should not be seen as a win or loss”. “This case was going on for decades and it has reached the right conclusion.”
“A grand Ram temple will be built now. The decision to allot alternate land to Muslim side is welcome. I believe Hindu brothers should help in the construction of the Masjid as well,” said yoga guru Baba Ramdev.
But Telangana leader Asaduddin Owaisi said “they aren’t satisfied”. “The Supreme Court is indeed supreme but not infallible. We have full faith in the constitution, we were fighting for our rights, we don’t need 5 acres land as donation. We should reject this land offer, don’t patronize us,” the chief of the All India Majis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) said while speaking to the media.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to all chief ministers and asked them to take necessary measures to maintain law and order. Many state governments, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan have declared a holiday for schools and colleges.
— India Legal Bureau