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In over a year, IICF receives just Rs 25 lakh in donations for building Ayodhya mosque

The Foundation was set up in July 2020 to facilitate the construction of the mosque on the 5-acre land allotted by the government.

Written by Asad Rehman | Lucknow |
June 23, 2022 3:51:04 am
The proposed design of the mosque and facilities. (Express)

The Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), set up by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque in Ayodhya’s Dhannipur village following the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, has received only Rs 25 lakh in donations in over a year.

The Foundation was set up in July 2020 to facilitate the construction of the mosque on the 5-acre land allotted by the government. In May last year, the IICF was granted tax exemption for donors by the Income Tax department under Section 80G of the I-T Act and donations were opened to the public. According to the Foundation, the entire project is likely to cost around Rs 110 crore, including Rs 100 crore for a hospital. Speaking to The Indian Express, IICF chief financial officer Iqramullah on Wednesday said, “This amount of Rs 25 lakh has been collected from people within India. We are still waiting for formalities under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to be completed. We were given clearance under Section 80-G of the I-T Act, but for FCRA, we need to file the income tax return (ITR) for three years.”

In October 2020, the first donation of Rs 21,000 was received from a person named Rohit Srivastava (37), an employee at Lucknow University’s Faculty of Law.

The IICF is supposed to build the mosque and community facilities, including a hospital, a community kitchen and an Indo-Islamic cultural research centre which will include an archive/museum at the 5-acre plot at Dhannipur.
IICF secretary Athar Hussain said the Dhannipur project should not be compared to the Ram Temple being built in Ayodhya. “The temple is an issue of faith and it has been part of the country’s ideology since the 1990s. There is no comparison. Our project started after the Supreme Court judgment and before that, no one knew that a mosque will
be built on an alternative site,” said Hussain.

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“Is there a Muslim organisation set up around the same time in 2020 which has raised more funds?… Our project is
not just about a mosque, but also for a hospital, a community kitchen and a museum, ” Hussain added.

The IICF is awaiting donations from some people who have pledged to make contributions, he said, adding that the map for the mosque complex has also not been passed by the administration yet.

In May last year, the IICF submitted the drawings of the maps of the proposed mosque to the Ayodhya Development Authority for approval.

Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, president and chief trustee of the IICF, said, “The reason why the amount is not much is that we haven’t made any appeals to people, so far. One has to travel to seek funds for donations. But this could not be started due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These donations were made by some people on their own. We will start the campaign next month and we hope to get more donations.”

Among the last event organised by the IICF at the plot was a flag-hoisting ceremony followed by plantation of tree saplings on Republic Day last year, “marking the start of the project to build the mosque and other public utilities”.

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