Muslim organisations on Wednesday slammed the UP government’s decision to give land for a mosque away from Ayodhya and urged the Sunni Waqf Board against accepting the 5-acre land earmarked for building a mosque.
Zafar Islam Khan, former president of All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushwrat said: “Nobody will take that land. The Sunni Waqf Board is a government institution. How will they say ‘no’? If you ask the (Muslim) community, no one wants that land. I do not think a mosque will ever be built there; and even if it is, nobody will ever go there to offer namaz. I think this is a desperate move ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections.”
Khan is also chairman of Delhi Minority Commission.
The Sunni Central Waqf Board chairman could not be contacted for a comment.
Zafaryab Jilani, member of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee, said the UP government’s decision to give land “almost 18 km away from the district headquarters of Ayodhya is against the judgment” of Supreme Court in the Ismail Farooqui case. He said, “While the land has been given to Sunni Waqf Board, AIMPLB and the Babri Masjid Action Committee had made it clear that they are not in favour of taking any land in lieu of a mosque… Neither is the land at a prominent place nor is it in Ayodhya, which the actual case relates to. Ayodhya in the case was part of Faizabad district.”
Iqbal Ansari, one of the litigants in the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi title suit, maintained that the government has wrongly interpreted “Ayodhya” in the SC verdict. In the original case, he said, Ayodhya refers to Ayodhya town, spread over a 5-km radius. But the government has changed the name of Faizabad district to Ayodhya and provided land in Raunahi area of the district, he said.
Jilani said, “Faizabad jile ka naam badal dene se woh Ayodhya nahi ho jayegi (by renaming Faizabad district it would not become Ayodhya).”
Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, also a member of AIMPLB, told the media outside Parliament House: “It is a wrong decision on part of Sunni Waqf Board to accept the land. They should not have taken it because AIMPLB, which consists of eminent scholars from all schools was unanimous that the land should not be taken to construct a mosque…”
Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani reiterated the organisation’s stand that a Trust or not, the Ramjanmabhoomi site would always remain a mosque.
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