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Inspection visits to Ayodhya site stopped after SC verdict, Muslim litigants complain


Ayodhya_PTI
Chennai:

AYODHYA: Three Muslim litigants have a complaint about being stopped from carrying out the fortnightly inspections of the Ranjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, a practice followed till the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the Ayodhya dispute.

Mufti Hizbullah told PTI that he has lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court and local authorities, saying the visits have been stopped without any court order.

Iqbal Ansari and Mohammad Umar were also not allowed to visit the site.

The visits earlier carried out by litigants from both the Hindu and the Muslim sides, Archaeological Survey of India representatives, court-appointed observers and other officials were meant to ensure that no changes were made at the disputed site.

Ayodhya's Additional District Magistrate P D Gupta told PTI that there was no need for the inspection of the status quo, now that the Supreme Court has delivered its verdict.

Under the verdict, the site has to be handed over to a trust, he said.

On November 9, a five-bench of the apex court directed that the site should be handed over to a government-appointed trust to construct a Ram temple and an alternative five-acre plot allotted for building a mosque to replace the one demolished in 1992.

Muslim litigants who visited the Ayodhya site on November 17 and December 1 said they were given access only to Manas Bhawan, the administrative building there.

The fortnightly inspections to confirm status quo were ordered by the High Court, and later by the Supreme Court, after the ASI completed its excavation at the site in 2003.

The court had directed that the inspections should be done under the supervision of two senior judges as observers.

Muslim litigants Mufti Hizbullah and Iqbal Ansari visited the site on November 17 but were denied entry.

On December 1, Hizbullah and Mohammad Umar were similarly stopped.

No Hindu litigant has visited the site for the inspections after the verdict, reports said.

Mufti Hizbullah said he has lodged complaints with the Supreme Court, the observers and the Ayodhya commissioner, claiming there are no court orders to stop their entry.

Iqbal Ansari and Mohammad Umar said they were given access only to administrative building.

The divisional commissioner was the 'receiver' or the 'authorised person' for the site.

When contacted, Ayodhya Commissioner M P Agrawal said, "I have just joined the post of Commissioner, so I have no idea about it."