Mumbai: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad said on Sunday that the Muslim community should accept the Supreme Court's verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, and claimed that Mahatma Gandhi had made a similar appeal in the case of Somnath Temple.
The statement by VHP general secretary Milind Parande came soon after the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) favoured seeking a review of the Ayodhya judgment. Parande also said that similar disputes about religious sites in Kashi and Mathura were not on the VHP's agenda.
"Mahatma Gandhi had made a similar appeal to Muslims, urging them to accept the decision of the then union government to reconstruct the Somnath temple (which had been destroyed in the earlier centuries) in Gujarat," he claimed here.
"Gandhi had said Muslims should accept the decision or it would give the wrong message that their attachment lies with the destructors of the temple," he said. Gandhi had expressed this view in his newspaper "Harijan", he further claimed.
"As the court's decision on the Ramjanmabhoomi is unanimous, I think there is no need for review petition," the VHP leader said. Parande also said that the VHP and other orrganisations which were agitating for the temple were now waiting for the Union government to set up a trust -- as directed by the SC -- for the temple construction.
"Sixty per cent of carved stones (to be used for temple construction) are ready," he said. Parande was speaking after inauguration of a hostel set up by the VHP for poor cancer patients coming to the city for treatment.
AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani said on Sunday that the land of the Babri mosque "belongs to Allah and under the Sharia, it cannot be given to anybody". "The board has also categorically stated that it was against taking five-acre land in Ayodhya in lieu of the mosque. The board is of the view that there cannot be any alternative to the mosque," he said in Delhi.
Earlier in the day, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind also decided to file a review petition challenging the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict.
The SC, in its verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title case on November 9, said the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who was one of the three litigants.
The five-judge Constitution bench also directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya to build a mosque.
Asked if the VHP will push for similar decisions on the disputed sites in Kashi (Varanasi) and Mathura, Parande said, "We are also doing a lot of social reform-related work. Our hands are full now, so we are not getting involved in Kashi and Mathura issues."
The focus, at present, was on the construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya, he said. "A prototype of the temple was circulated several years ago. We hope it will be accepted by the trust which the centre will form. VHP will not be part of the trust," he said.