Twenty-five litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case along with their counsels appeared on Wednesday before a Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel in Faizabad, officials said.
The Faizabad administration had issued notices to the 25 litigants on behalf of the panel. The mediation process will take place at a hall at the Faizabad Avadh University, they said, adding that no one has been allowed inside.
The Supreme Court had stated in its order that the proceedings should be confidential. The bench had said that it was not a gag order on the media but it would be in the best interests of all if the mediation was a closed-door affair.
A huge posse of police guarded the university and its premises. Patrolling had been intensified and pickets were in place, Faizabad district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said.
The three-member panel comprising retired Justice Kalifullah, senior advocate Sriram Panchu and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Faizabad on Tuesday, he said.
The members would be in Faizabad for three days, officials said. The panel, in a letter, had directed the Faizabad administration to ensure foolproof security in and around the venue and also necessary personal security for the litigants and lawyers. mediation panel holds sitting in Faizabad, 25 litigants attend.