LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman came out on Friday to support Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to install a huge 100-metre high statue of Lord Rama on the banks of river Sarayu in the temple town. The project, estimated to cost around `200 crore, is part of the larger beautification plan of the areas in and around Ayodhya.
Lauding the state government’s decision, UP Shia Waqf Board chairperson Waseem Rizvi said Shia Board supports the proposal to uphold the essence Awadh’s Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb (culture of communal harmony). He added that the grand statue of Lord Ram would be in furtherance of the tradition introduced by the Nawabs of Awadh besides bringing global acclaim to the temple town.
“The Nawabs of this region always respected the temples in Ayodhya. Even the land for Hanuman Garhi in central Ayodhya was donated by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah in 1739, while the funds to construct the Hanuman Garhi temple were provided by Nawab Asif-ud-Daullah, between 1775 and 1793,” claimed Rizvi.
Earlier, Rizvi had created a flutter in the Muslim community by taking a stand contrary to the official position of the Muslim parties involved in the litigation of vexed Ram Janmabhoomi issue by telling the Supreme Court through an affidavit that the board had no problem if the mosque was built at a reasonable distance from 2.73 acre of disputed land, preferably in a Muslim dominated locality, in Ayodhya. . The Shia Board is one of the parties in the pending appeals in the SC.
Meanwhile, the All India Sunni Waqf Board had opposed the intervention by Shia Wakf Board.
The Board had also claimed in the affidavit that the property on which Babri Masjid stood and demolished by a frenzied mob on December 6, 1992, belonged to it and that only the Board was entitled to negotiate an amicable solution with the consent of all the stakeholders in the dispute.
Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue has been pending in the Supreme Court since 2010, after the Allahabad HC divided the land equally between ‘Ram Lalla’, the Nirmohi Akhara and the Sunni Central Waqf Board.
Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi on whose behalf the affidavit was submitted in the apex court, chose to disagree with 1946 court order which awarded the ownership of Babri Masjid to the Sunni Central Waqf Board.