“The Congress should construct a masjid for us, if it is secular, in the land allotted to us by the High Court in its order,” Babri Masjid Action Committee president Hashim Ansari told journalists here on Thursday.

Initially, Mr. Ansari declined to comment on the judgment, but later he “welcomed” the decision of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court. “I welcome the decision because it is to our advantage. The parties that used to do politics in the name of the Babri Masjid will not be able to do so now. The Congress, which had a role in the demolition of the mosque, should now construct a masjid if it is secular.”

Mr. Ansari, who stayed here to ensure that there were no untoward incidents, congratulated the Mayawati government “for bringing police out of the barracks on the roads” and maintaining peace.

While Mr. Ansari was not vocal about approaching the Supreme Court on the decision, another petitioner, Haji Mahmood of the Sunni Waqf Board, said they were likely to appeal against the order.

“Right or wrong the court's decision has to be accepted,” he said.

Shopkeeper Haji Mohammad Sajid, however, could not hide his disappointment. “The court should not have based its decision on faith but should have relied only on documents placed before it.”

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