Renewing his mediation efforts on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in Ayodhya, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday held a meeting with Muslim leaders, including members from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Sunni Waqf Board.
After the meeting, the AOL said eminent members of the Sunni Waqf Board, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and others met Ravi Shankar and expressed support for an out-of-court settlement in the Ayodhya matter.
"They have supported the proposal of shifting the Masjid outside to another place. Many Muslim stakeholders are cooperating in this matter," an AOL statement said.
It said that 16 leaders from multiple organisations attended the meeting at which representatives and scholars from various states were present too.
"A bigger meeting is slated to be held in Ayodhya soon," the statement said.
Muslim Personal Law Board executive member Maulana Syed Salman Hussain Nadvi attended the meeting, as also Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board chairperson Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, Maulana Wasif Hasan of Teelay Wali Masjid in Lucknow and retired IAS officer Dr Anis Ansari, an AOL executive said.
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Other attendees were Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD) director Athar Husain Siddiqui, businessman AR Rahman, London-based World Islamic Forum chairman Maulana Isa Mansuri, Lucknow advocate Imran Ahmed, former Haj committee of India chairman A Aboobucker and Dr Musa Kaiser of Bengaluru.
The fresh efforts come after a lull in the dialogue process initiated with "stakeholders" by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who had earlier claimed that "very good and positive signs" had emerged from both the communities.
The efforts had received a tepid and sceptical response from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which had distanced itself from the spiritual leader's attempt to mediate in the protracted issue.
During the Dharma Sansad held at Udupi in Karnataka in November last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and the VHP did not 'appreciate' the spiritual guru's efforts to resolve the Ayodhya temple dispute without taking them into confidence.
Ravi Shankar had also, in November last, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who then said "everyone knows where the talks would lead to", especially when the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
When the matter came up before the Supreme Court on Thursday, it asked parties before the Allahabad High Court in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute to file in two weeks English translation of documents exhibited by them.
A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it would hear the appeals on March 14 and clarified that it never intended to hear the case on a "day-to-day basis".