April 27, 2016

India: Civil suit in Barabanki to take possession of Ayodhya temple complex

The Times of India

Civil suit to take possession of Ayodhya temple complex
Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui | TNN | Apr 26, 2016, 01.31 AM IST

Lucknow: A civil suit was filed in a Barabanki court on Monday seeking instructions for removal of Central forces from Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya and possession of the complex. The 25-page suit was filed by Barabanki Nagar Palika chairman Ranjeet Bahadur Srivastava. He was elected president of Ram Mandir Nirman Nyas last week at a meeting of the temple trust in Ayodhya. Srivastava had earlier claimed that he would raise an army of 50,000 Ram sevaks for the construction of temple.

Srivastava has claimed the property in question was the palace of King Dashrath, so he has sought court directives to ensure removal of all security forces from the property and handing it over to those who have been looking after the premises over the years. The trust Srivatstva heads is formed by a splinter group. The VHP-supported trust (Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas) is headed by Nritya Gopal Das.

"We have filed the suit in the court of Civil Judge (senior division) Abhishek Srivastava supporting our claim on the basis of documented evidence based on facts mentioned in religious scriptures and a host of historians," Srivastava told TOI. About the Ayodhya issue pending before the Supreme Court, he said his injunction suit had nothing to do with the title suit related to the issue.

Explaining his locus standi in the case, Ranjeet said the Mandir Nirman Trust comprised people who have been looking after Lord Ram in Ayodhya and thereby have been caretaker of the property which entitles them to seek injunction. "Caretaker may not necessarily mean descendents of the original owner of the property. They can be people who take care of any property for ages without any commercial interests," he said.

Srivastava, who was represented in court by his lawyer Puneet Misra said, "We are seeking court's intervention only in stopping interference on property which was King Dashrath's palace. It has been established that umbilical cord of Lord Rama was buried on the property which establishes the fact that it was a part of the palace of King Dashrath." In the injunction suit, the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) has been named opposite party. About the reason for filing the suit in Barabanki when the case relates to Ayodhya, Srivastava said: "I belong to Barabanki so I have filed a suit before a court in my native district."

BMAC convener Zafaryab Jilani said though he had yet to receive any notice in connection with the injunction suit filed in Barabanki, since the matter was related to a property located in Ayodhya, it should be taken up by a Faizabad court only. "I am not aware about the details of the suit and will be able to comment on it only after I have a copy of the suit filed before the court," he said talking to TOI.