Muslims and Hindus discuss mosque dispute

India’s main Muslim body will discuss on Sunday Hindu seer’s proposals, aiming at ending a heated religious dispute over the ruins of an ancient mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya.

     
     

    Hindu and Muslim leaders are
      meeting to resolve the issue
      of the Ayodya mosque

    The 51-member executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) will hold talks on proposals from Hindu religious leader Swami Jayendra Saraswati.

     

    The meeting will be held in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

     

    The proposals are the most serious attempts so far to reach a settlement between Hindus and Muslims.

     

    Both Hindus and Muslims claim the piece of land in Ayodhya on which the 16th-century Babri mosque once stood.

     

    The mosque was destroyed on 6 December, 1992 by thousands of Hindus.

     

    The crowd that destroyed the mosque was led by right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP party and its affiliates.

     

    They said the mosque was built on the site of a Hindu temple, marking the birthplace of the warrior god Ram.

     

    The demolition triggered nationwide violent protests between Hindus and Muslims.

     

    At least 2,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.

     

    Hindus launched a campaign on the mid-1980s to have a temple built at the site while Muslims want the mosque to be rebuilt.

     

    A court looking into the issue has ordered archaeologists to examine whether a temple had existed beneath the mosque.

     

    But Muslim and Hindu leaders have been holding behind-the-scenes talks to reach a compromise out of court.

    The mosque was demolished in
    1992

     

    Proposals considered

     

    Saraswati’s proposals have not been made available to the public.

     

    But media reports and government sources say the first offer is that Hindus take the Ayodhya land.

     

    In return, Muslims receive land five kilometers away to build a mosque with the help of the government.

     

    As part of the offer, Hindus would abandon claims in similar disputes at Kashi and Mathura cities in Uttar Pradesh.

     

    Another proposal suggests the construction of both a mosque and a temple at the site to be separated by a body of water.

     

    A third proposal calls for a wall to be built between a mosque and a temple with no construction taking place on the disputed site until the court's verdict. 

     

    “I am very sure a solution will be found by July 6”, Saraswati said.

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