Hyderabad: MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi welcomed the Supreme Court-monitored mediation effort to resolve the decades-old Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute but expressed reservations over the inclusion of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the three-member panel.
Mr Owaisi said his only concern was “about a person who has been nominated as one of the mediators because of his stated position in the public domain, wherein he threatened the Muslims that India will turn into Syria if Muslims do not give up that land,”
Mr Owaisi recalled, “He said, ‘give it as a goodwill gesture’. A mediator has to be neutral. He should not have any connection with the subject matter.”
The MIM president said that the Art of Living founder had gone on record on November 4, 2018, threatening violence. “He is not only connected with the party but subject of the issue, whereas the other two mediators do not have such connections. He is not a neutral mediator. It is regrettable to appoint such a person for mediation.”
Mr Owaisi said neither he nor the MIM was against mediation. “I am not saying it is unfair. I just have reservations on the inclusion of a person who is biased on the issue,” he said.
He said though he was a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, he was not authorised to speak on its behalf. He hoped that the Muslims would cooperate with the panel. He said that he hoped even now that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar would retract his November 2018 statement and behave like a neutral person.
Mr Owaisi said it was good that the whole process of mediation would be confidential. “In the backdrop of the Lok Sabha elections, politicians will not get a chance to exploit the issue,” Mr Owaisi said.
He pointed out that there was a difference between mediation and arbitration.
The findings of the mediation panel would be an interim report.
In mediation, the litigant parties put forward their views while in arbitration the arbitrator gives his judgment, Mr Owaisi said....