The Yogi Adityanath government Wednesday allotted five acres of land, in line with the Supreme Court’s 9 November order, at Dhannipur village on the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway, about 25 km from the 67-acre Ramjanmbhoomi complex, inside which the Babri Masjid stood.
The AIMPLB does not want the Waqf board to take possession of the land.
“The location is of no relevance. We shouldn’t accept the five acres of land even if it is offered at the site of the Taj Mahal,” Kamal Farooqui, a senior member of the AIMPLB told The Print.
He added that while some may have wanted that the land for the mosque be allotted within the 67-acre disputed site, the AIMPLB never held any such demands.
“Even if the land was given within that complex, the point is that a mosque’s site cannot be bartered or exchanged. That’s not how it works,” Farooqui said, adding the Sunni Waqf board too should reject the land.
Senior executive member of AIMPLB, Maulana Yasin Usmani, reiterated Farooqui’s comments.
“The Sunni Waqf board is not representative of the entire Muslim community. If it takes land, it should not be considered the decision of Muslims of the country,” Usmani has said.
The AIMIM chief, Asaduddin Owaisi, has also raised questions on the timing of the announcement — just three days before the Delhi assembly elections.
“The Muslim community has rejected the 5-acre land offer unanimously and the Sunni Waqf Board should also do the same,” Owaisi said.
Waqf board’s position unclear
Sunni Waqf Board chairman Zufar Faruqui has been ambivalent on whether or not the Board will accept the five acres of land and hasn’t made any comment after the announcement Wednesday.
The board will reportedly hold a meeting on 24 February where it will decide on the matter.
While the board and its chairman haven’t made any official statement, it is being reported that it will form an ‘Indo Islamic Culture Trust’ that will “ensure the construction of hospitals, schools, libraries, and institutions which will encourage Islamic cultural activities and other social activities”.
Reacting to this, Farooqui said the community doesn’t need the government’s money to build any of this. “Indian Muslims aren’t that fakeer (destitute) that they will need money to build these institutions. The community has enough money and land to build all of this. This is about a greater issue of justice,” Farooqui said.
The Uttar Pradesh government allotted the land at an alternate site after a decision was taken in this regard at a cabinet meeting chaired by CM Yogi Adityanath, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said.
The land at Dhannipur village is also 18 km from the Ayodhya district headquarters. The SC, in its Ayodhya verdict, had said that either the Centre allots five acres in the 67-acre disputed complex or the state government locate an alternate site at a “suitable prominent place”.
“The state government had sent three alternatives for land to the Centre. This one was accepted by the Centre and the state cabinet has approved its allotment,” Sharma said. “There is a good transportation facility to reach here and communal amity and law and order are also good.”
Source; The Print