Muslims should give up their claim on all disputed sites and also hand over the places to Hindus to “correct the mistakes of ancestors,” Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi said Monday.
Rizvi said the need for such an appeal arose after reports of Sunnis seeking permission to offer namaz on disputed structures. He added that if all such issues were not resolved, some other similar dispute may crop up even after the Ayodhya issue is resolved. He made the appeal in a video circulated on social media.
In his appeal, Rizvi claimed that there were 11 such major disputed sites across the country, including those in Mathura, Varanasi and Jaunpur.
Rizvi also claimed that while all the churches that were destroyed to build mosques had been reconstructed and restored, “now was the time to give back land of temples, which was taken by Mughals”.
He further said, “Mosques that have been constructed in place of temples, should be handed over to Hindus. We should correct the mistakes of ancestors and establish peace in the country.”
Speaking to The Indian Express Monday, Rizvi said, “The need for the appeal arose as Sunnis have sought permission to offer namaz at disputed sites where mosques now stand… But that is not the solution. Finding solutions to Ramjanmabhoomi and Babri Masjid dispute is not the solution because another similar issue may crop up as there 11 such major sites, where mosques were allegedly constructed after destroying temples. As offering namaz is not allowed at disputed sites, I made an appeal to all followers of Islam to hand over the sites to Hindus to correct the mistakes of ancestors.”
Rizvi is facing four criminal cases, including one each in Lucknow and Prayagraj and two in Rampur, on charges of illegal transfer and misuse of waqf land since 2016. Recently, the state government sent a recommendation to the Centre for a CBI probe into allegations of irregularities and misuse of waqf land against the Sunni and Shia Waqf Boards and their chairmen.