5 acres given for building mosque is in Ayodhya’s Dhannipur village

It is situated around 25 km from the site where the Babri Masjid once stood.

February 05, 2020 01:56 pm | Updated 06:59 pm IST - LUCKNOW

A general view of Ayodhya.

A general view of Ayodhya.

The five acres allotted to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board for building a mosque following the Supreme Court verdict in Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit will be in Dhannipur village in Sohawal tehsil of Ayodhya, around 25 km from the site where the Babri Masjid once stood.

The land is 18 km from the district headquarters on the Lucknow State highway, the Uttar Pradesh government said after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. 

The State had sent a proposal with three alternative sites to the Centre and one was selected, State Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma said.

“This is a suitable location in Ayodhya in many ways,” said Mr. Sharma. This would prove to be a suitable location from the perspective of transportation, road connectivity, public facilities, communal harmony, public order and law and order, he added.

Cief executive officer of the Waqf Board Syed Shoeb said they were yet to receive a formal order from the government. Whether the Board accepts the site or not could be decided at its meeting scheduled on February 24. “It was earlier scheduled for February 12 but due to certain reasons, it had to be postponed. It depends on the chairman if he keeps it in the agenda,” Mr. Shoeb told The Hindu .

The issue of alternate land for a mosque in Ayodhya was, however, not yet included in the formal agenda of the next meeting, he said.

At a meeting in November 2019 after the apex court declared its verdict, the Board announced it was still undecided on whether to accept the five acres allotted to it, and reiterated that it would not go in for any review of the order.

Six out of seven members of the Board present at the meeting voted in favour of the decision to not challenge the court ruling.

‘Against principles of Islam’

Abdur Razzaque Khan, who was the lone dissenting member then, said on Wednesday that Muslims should not accept the 5-acres as it “goes against the principles of Islam.”

“In Islam, a mosque should be built by Muslims on a land purchased by them or a mosque should be built where the earlier one stood,” he said.

Haji Mehboob, one of the litigants in the long-drawn case, also rejected the land. He felt the location, though having Muslim population, was too far from Ayodhya town. “We have already said we don't want the land. Plus, the site is pretty far, 25 km outside of Ayodhya. Who will keep a watch over it?”, he said.

Mr. Mehboob, who lives in the vicinity of the Ram Janmabhoomi police station, said if the government offered Muslims land close to Ayodhya, where once mosques stood, they could think about it. “But this [Dhannipur], there is no question”, he said. “We are not beggars asking the government land for building a mosque”.

Zufar Faruqui, chairperson of the Waqf Board, was unavailable for comment.

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