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Government not averse to out-of-court solution on Ram Mandir: Minister

Agency | November 14, 2017 07:25 PM

NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said the government is not averse to any out-of-court solution to the Ram Mandir issue, and emphasised that it is "not involved" in any offers to negotiate by anyone, after spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar offered to mediate in the long-simmering dispute.

"If all the parties concerned or the stakeholders reach a consensus on the issue, nothing like it. It will be an ideal situation. This issue should be resolved. If it is resolved through dialogue and consensus it is good, otherwise the matter is already in the court and the court will decide," Naqvi said.

Asked if Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has offered to mediate at the behest of the Narendra Modi government, Naqvi said: "If some people are trying to mediate in the matter to find an amicable solution, there is no harm in it. But the government is not involved in any kind of mediation etc."

Late last month, the AoL founder had expressed his willingness to mediate in the decades-long Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute, following which the Shia Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi met him on October 31 and welcomed the offer.

After the meeting, Rizvi said the entire nation respected the AoL founder and that the Shia community was of the view that the dispute should be resolved amicably and not by confrontation.

However, on Monday after Sri Sri announced that he would soon be visiting Ayodhya in this connection, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi dismissed his offer as "kite flying".

"The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has clearly stated that they will not accept any such offer, he (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) should not indulge in any kite flying," Owaisi said.

Sri Sri on Monday said that he has offered to mediate in the Ram Temple dispute of his own will and would visit Ayodhya on November 16 to meet all the stakeholders.

Meanwhile, according to his schedule, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar before driving to the temple town will meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his representative Bhavya Tej said in Lucknow.

He said that he has informed both Muslim and Hindu leaders involved in the mater that "Guru ji" would be in Ayodhya to discuss with them ways to thrash out a resolution.

Sri Sri is likely to reach Ayodhya on Thursday afternoon and meet the head of the Ram Janma Bhoomi Nyaas, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das at Maniram Chawni, and later hold deliberations with Ram Vilas Vedanti and Iqbal Ansari, son of late Hashim Ansari, the petitioner from the Muslim side in the dispute.

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