New Delhi: An outfit of ’eminent Muslim citizens’ on Thursday said that the Muslim community should hand over the disputed 2.77-acre disputed land site in Ayodhya to the Hindus as a ‘goodwill gesture.’ The suggestion by the outfit comes nearly a week ahead of what is expected to be the final day of hearing in the Ayodhya case.

The outfit, which calls itself ‘Indian Muslims for Peace’, counts among its members, among others, the likes of former Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor Lieutenant General (Retired) Zameer Uddin Shah,  former IPS officers Nisar Khan and Vibhuti Narain Rai and ex-IAS officer Anis Ansari.

On Thursday, addressing a press conference called by the outfit, in Lucknow, Lt. Gen Shah, who retired as the Deputy Chief of the Army in 2008, while urging the top court to give a clear verdict, said, “Even if the Supreme Court gives judgment in favour of Muslims, it is impossible to rebuild the mosque.”

He continued, ” In case judgement is in favour of Muslims, for lasting peace in country, Muslims should hand over the land to Hindu brothers. There has to be a solution otherwise we’ll go on fighting. I strongly support out-of-court settlement.”

Favouring a settlement between the two sides, he said that in case of a negotiated settlement, both sides will be the winners. He, however, admitted that the outfit had no stake in the matter but hoped that the Muslim litigants will consider their proposal and accept it.

Lt Gen Shah, who is the elder brother of renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah, also clarified that it was only on the invitation of the Sunni Central Waqf Board that he came to attend the session.

The Ayodhya case, which is being heard by a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, will end with 41 hearings, thus making it the second-largest case ever to have been heard by the apex court. The bench is chaired by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.