Ayodhya floats its own solution: mandir at idol site, masjid 400 m away

Babari masjidMediation and fortnightly talks have been on for more than two years now between Hindus and Muslims of the twin towns.

At a time when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's attempt to reopen the Ram temple issue with a Chaurasi Kosi parikrama of Ayodhya has found few takers, a "local" effort by residents of Ayodhya and Faizabad to resolve the dispute has been gaining ground. One that proposes a Ram temple at the disputed site and a mosque 400 m away, but within the 67 acres of land acquired by the government.

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Mediation and fortnightly talks have been on for more than two years now between Hindus and Muslims of the twin towns. Justice Palok Basu, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been spearheading this "local" effort since March 18, 2010 six months before the high court partitioned the disputed site into three parts.

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In its controversial September 30, 2010 ruling, the high court awarded the site, where the Babri Masjid once stood, to the deity of Ramlalla, Nirmohi Akhara and the Muslims. The Supreme Court stayed the verdict in May 2011, calling it "strange". Several petitions challenging the verdict have since been admitted.

But talks at the local level have resulted in a four-point proposal to resolve the issue and shut out "outsiders". Over seven thousand signatories have already backed this proposal:

* The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute should be settled by talks between residents of Ayodhya and Faizabad only, and include every dharm (religion), panth (sect) and jaati (caste). No outsider, association or group should interfere.

* No one has any objection to a temple at the site of the idol of Ram. In fact, all accept it.

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