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The Board claimed that the part of the disputed land given to the Sunni Board belonged to it

In a fresh turn of events in Babri Masjid Case, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court  on Tuesday stating that a mosque could be built in a Muslim- dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site in Ayodhya.

“Answering respondent (Shia Board) is also of the view that, to bring quietus, masjid can be located in a Muslim- dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purshottam Sri Ram,” reads the affidavit.

The Board also claimed in an affidavit that the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.

The Shia Board is one of the parties in the pending appeals in the Supreme Court.

Its 30-page long affidavit came just after the SC agreed to fast track the proceedings on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case. However, the Board  has sought time from the SC for setting up of a committee for exploring a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

In 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid site in Ayodhya.

The three-judge bench of the high court, by a 2:1 majority, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Speaking to the media about the affidavit filed by the Shia Waqf Board,  the convener of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) Zafaryab Jilani said, “This is just an appeal, this affidavit has no value in law.” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy also commented on the situation and said, “According to me this intervention by the Shia Waqf board is god sent.”

Recently, a triple-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer has been constituted by the Chief Justice J S Khehar  to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case from August 11.

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