New Delhi: In a fresh turn of events, the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that a mosque could be built in a Muslim- dominated area at a reasonable distance from the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The Board also told the apex court 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 Waqf Board affidavit in the Supreme Court has been interpreted by some media houses as the board's agreement to building of a temple on the disputed site.
The Shia Waqf Board had about two weeks ago announced that it will stake claim on the demolished Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya saying Babar was Shia and hence the property belonged to them.
"The mosque was built during the reign of Babar by Mir Baqi who, as history states, was a Shia from Persia. It was always a Shia mosque by that virtue, with the Mutawwalis all from the pedigree of Baqi.
"Only the Imam and Muezzins of the mosque were Sunni who were paid by the Shia Mutawwali. Namaz was offered by both Shia and Sunnis," Chairman of the Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi claimed in a statement.
Rizvi also said that he had been asked to intervene in the court case concerning the Ayodhya dispute.
Claiming that all formalities will be undertaken in a week, Rizvi also said that the board will enter as party to the hearing under way at the Supreme Court (SC) after the September 2010 high court order dividing the disputed land into three parts, with one part going to the Sunni Waqf Board.
Convener of Babri Masjid Action Committee, Zaffaryab Jilani however rejected Rizvi's statement and said the Shia Waqf Board had never claimed that it had documents to prove ownership right of Babri Mosque.
“If the Shia Board is in possession of any documents, it should make them public,” he said.
The fight over ownership of the Babri Masjid is age-old with Hindus claiming that the site is birthplace of Ram.
The dispute turned violent on December 06, 1992 when Hindu extremists claiming allegiance to the RSS and BJP demolished the Babri Masjid in broad daylight.