A New Twist In Babri Case


Controversy over Babri Mosque has been one of the most divisive issues in post Independent India and Supreme Court is going to start hearing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court regarding the ownership of the disputed land, where Babri Mosque was standing. The case is seven decades old and needs final verdict of the Final Court of India for final solution of the problem.

When Supreme Court was gearing up to start its hearing a new twist has appeared in the case. A new party Shia Central Wakf Board has entered into the arena claiming to be the original owner of the disputed land and demolished mosque. So far as the three parties, who were fighting for the land were Sunni Wakf Board, Ram Lalla and Nirmohi Akhada. Allahabad High Court had ordered for the trifurcation of the disputed land and distribution among them. Now Shia Central Wakf Board had joined the dispute as a fourth party.

Interestingly, while claiming that the land belonged to it, it has asked the Supreme Court to give the land to those, who want the construction of Ram Temple. The Shia Board has asked that the Mosque could be built in nearby areas, where Muslims are populated. Though, Central Sunni Wakf Board says that what Shia Wakf Board claims has no legal validity, its claim is not baseless. It had already fought a legal battle in the lower court against the Sunni Board and lost. After the losing the case in a lower court, the Shia Board did not exercise its option to challenge the verdict of the lower court in a higher court.

In Supreme Court, the Shia Board has produced the copy of judgment of the lower court, which was against it. Naturally, the Shia Board would like to raise the issue of appeal in the Supreme Court or alternatively in the present case, it would like the Court to reconsider the judgment of the lower court as well.

Babri Mosque is supposed to be built by Mir Baki, who was one of the commanders of Babur, when he attacked India. The Central Shia Wakf Board claims that Mir Baki, he was a Shia Muslim and hence the Mosque built by him was a Shia Mosque. According to its claim the name of the Mosque was Masjid Mir Baki, though it was popularly known as Babri Mosque. Shias claim that though, it was a Shia Mosque, both Shias and Sunnis used to offer their Namaz there and the Imam of the Mosque was a Sunni and he was paid by Central Shia Wakf Board.

According the Shia petitioner, in 1944, Sunni Wakf Board had illegally transferred its ownership in its own name and it was challenged immediately in the court, which passed its order in favor of Sunnis. Now it wants its old case to be open in Supreme Court, when it is hearing an appeal petition against an order of Allahabad High Court filed by all the three parties in the case.

The interference of Central Shia Wakf Board may change the course of the case. Since, it is asking for the construction of Ram temple on the disputed site, it is music for those who are striving to make a temple and it will certainly add the woes of those who are fighting for the reconstruction of a Mosque at the site of demolished Babri Mosque.

It is worth mentioning that Shia Muslims have never opposed the construction of Ram Temple, when temple movement was going on. Construction of Ram temple was being opposed by Sunni Muslims. But it is also a fact that in India more than 90 percent Muslims are Sunnis and the population of Shia is much less. Hence, their support did not matter much.

But now Shias are supporting the temple construction by claiming the ownership of the land of dispute. The main issue of contention from the Sunni point of view is the ownership of land, while the main contention of Ram Lalla and Nirmohi Akhada is the fact that there was a Ram temple at the site, which was demolished by Mir Baki to construct a Mosque. If Supreme Court reopens the old case of ownership between Shia and Sunnis and finds that it was really a property of Central Shia Wakf Board, then Sunnis will lose any say in the conflict.

– Contributed by Kriti

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