The oldest litigant in the Ayodhya title suit case, Mohammad Hashim Ansari, has claimed threat to his life, saying people playing politics over the issue were plotting to kill him.
“When I started to talk about peace with Mahant Gyandas (president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad) those doing politics on this issue felt their shops will get closed and they are issuing threats and plotting to eliminate me,” Mr. Ansari claimed.
The 90-year-old litigant maintained that he started exploring possibilities of an amicable solution only after the consent of the Sunni Central Waqf Board, a claim denied by the Board.
Mr. Ansari said that if the issue could be sorted out through talks, it should be done.
“If the issue could be sorted out through talks today, tomorrow or two months, it should be done. After all we have three months time,” he said.
Mr. Ansari said that he was deeply hurt by the Sunni Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani’s statement that he was merely a litigant. “Being a simple litigant means that I carry bags.
It is an attack on prestige and an insult“.
“I only intended to douse flames of fundamentalism at any cost and Jilani cannot become a hindrance for me,” Mr. Ansari, who is making efforts for an out-of-court settlement of the Ayodhya title dispute, said.
Demanding an apology from Mr. Jilani, Mr. Ansari said if the Sunni Board’s counsel did not take his words back then he will not pursue the case further. “If Jilani does not apologies then I will finish this issue right here and will not talk to anyone on the Babri mosque.”
“To keep Hashim mum is an almost impossible and I will establish harmony at all cost,” he said.
Mr. Ansari also appealed to Hindus not to fight and keep calm.
“I would like to request my Hindu brothers that don’t fight because it will result in loss to the nation and the community as well,” Mr. Ansari said.
He said people know how honestly he struggled for the cause of the mosque for 60 years. “I hope the people and media will continue to support me“.
Soon after the verdict, Mr. Ansari had called for burying the dispute and making “a fresh start”, a view shared by 84-year-old Mahant Bhaskar Das of Nirmohi Akhara.