LUCKNOW, Nov. 9 -- Mohammad Hashim Ansari of the All India Sunni Waqf Board and Mahant Bhaskar Das, head of the Nirmohi Akhara -- the two oldest litigants in the Ayodhya title suit -- were the closest of friends personally but arch-rivals over the suit.

Now, when the SC verdict has come, the two are no more. Ansari died on July 20, 2016 at the age of 96 and Das on September 16, 2017 at 89. Both died in Ayodhya of similar old-age heart issues.

On September 30, 2010, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court had ruled that the disputed site should be split, with the Muslims getting control of a third of the land, Hindus another third and the Nirmohi Akhara the remainder.

Control of the main disputed section, where the mosque was torn down,...