The Center could begin the process of establishing a trust in the city of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, only after inter-ministerial deliberations, said a senior official Sunday, while Hindu groups were fighting over membership in a body and a key Muslim entity meeting on the opportunity to accept an alternative plot as stated in the Supreme Court the day before.
In Ayodhya, a phalanx of security agents continued to patrol the largely deserted streets, while the administration focused on managing the sea of worshipers expected to descend for the Hindu religious event of Kartik Purnima on Tuesday.
At least a million people are expected to travel to Ayodhya for the first Hindu holiday after the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Ram temple in Ayodhya as part of a landmark ruling that ended Saturday at decades of communal riots and tensions after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
"All security arrangements are in place. There is enough staff in the district. The security measures taken for the verdict of the Supreme Court are still in place, "said Anuj Kumar Jha, District Magistrate.
The court had ordered the government to create a trust within three months to manage the 2.77 acre site in Ayodhya. On Sunday, a senior official said the formation of trust could be discussed at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during this week.
"A decision on trust will only be made after inter-ministerial deliberations and after the government's advisers have reviewed the 1,045-page judgment," added a second official.
Confidence may have certain characteristics in common with the trust of the Somnath temple in Gujarat, which has eight members. The Somnath Trust has already submitted to the central government a note on its composition and constitution. "It's clearly a point of reference for us," said a BJP leader.
Leaders of both communities launched an appeal for peace after a widely accepted verdict. But some Muslim leaders have indicated that they could refuse any alternative site for the mosque.
The Sunni Central Waqf Council convened a meeting on November 26, but its chairman, Zufar Ahmad Faruqi, said the date could be postponed to this week. "Yes, people came into contact with me and urged not to take the land. I convened a board meeting to hear the views of the members, "he added.
The Waqf council has already ruled out the filing of a petition for review in the Supreme Court but a key advocate of Muslim litigants, Zafaryab Jilani, said, "The Waqf Council is only one. Eight Muslim litigants and some of them may agree Jilani is secretary of the All India Muslim Law Law Board, which will meet next Sunday in Lucknow to decide whether to file a petition for review. "It would be contrary to the" Shariat "(Islamic laws) to accept anything instead of a mosque," said Kamal Farooqui, a member of the AIMPLB.
The district administration announced that it would start looking for the alternative plot only after receiving a directive from the state government.
In Ayodhya, many streets were deserted and about 5,000 worshipers visited the Ram's improvised temple. The entrance to the city remained restricted.
Many Hindu groups in Ayodhya have called for a seat on trust. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, leader of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, who led the temple movement since the 1990s, was among the main complainants. "We want the Nyas to be members of the trust. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das must be named on behalf of the Nyas, "said Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, heir to Chief Nyas. Triloki Nath Pandey, the so-called "next friend" of the child deity Ram Lalla, to whom possession of the land of 2.77 acres was attributed, was another claimant. "We will accept the trust the government is creating for the construction of the temple," Pandey said.
A third name in the fray was Vice President Vishwa Hindu Parishad Champat Rai, while local Hindu attire also asked to be included in the body. Mahant Suresh Das, chief of Digambar Akhara, has expressed his willingness to be part of any stage of the Center for the construction of Ram Temple.
The mood of Muslim groups was darker and many said Sunday they canceled the processions traditionally held on the occasion of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. "This year, we did not participate in a procession. There are two reasons for this. The first is to keep the peace. Second, express our sadness after the judgment of the Supreme Court, "said Mufti Shamsul Qamar Qadri, imam of Ayodhya's main mosque.
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