AYODHYA/LUCKNOW: The Ayodhya district administration has commenced the process of identifying a suitable piece of land for the proposed mosque in compliance with the Supreme Court verdict following verbal directives from the authorities, said sources here on Monday. However, the allotment of the five-acre land for the mosque to the Sunni Central Waqf Board is likely to be finalised only after legal consultations.
While UP chief secretary RK Tiwari clarified that the SC order would be complied with cent percent and a suitable piece of land would soon be identified for the proposed mosque, the Ayodhya DM denied having received any formal written order in that connection so far.
Official sources, however, claim that the proposed land may not be allotted within the erstwhile municipal area or on the same side of the Sarayu river. It may rather be allotted on the Ayodhya-Faizabad Road beyond the 15-km parikrama circle around the 67-acre Janmabhoomi complex.
Suggestions over the location of the proposed land are also trickling in from both Muslim and Hindu quarters. The Sunni Central Waqf Board (SCWB) will convene a special meeting of its members on November 26 to decide if the 5-acre land for the mosque should be accepted or not.
While on the one hand, sources claim that the five acre plot may not be located in close vicinity of the Ramjanmabhoomi complex as it would be difficult to find such a huge piece of vacant land inside the temple town, some Muslim litigants and other members of the community want the land of their choice within the periphery of the land acquired by the the central government around the Ramjanmabhoomi complex.
Suggestions have also been made for the allotment of the land for the proposed mosque at Shahjanwa village, where the mausoleum of Mir Baqi, Babur’s commander who allegedly razed the temple and constructed the mosque, is located. But even this village is within the 15-km parikrama circle.
Although the court has asked that the alternative land be identified in coordination with the Sunni Waqf Board, a section of local Muslims says the land for building a mosque in place of the demolished Babri Masjid should be according to their wishes. "There have been suggestions that the land for mosque should be allotted outside ‘chaudah kos’ periphery of the Janmabhoomi complex, but we want land only in the 67 acres acquired by the government, otherwise we will reject it,” says Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants in the case.
While an office-bearer of the All India Milli Council, a party in Ayodhya case, also sought the land within the acquired area as a gesture respecting Muslim sentiments, Maulana Badshah Khan, Ayodhya president of Jamait Ulema Hind, told media persons that they were fighting for the land of Babri Masjid, not for any other land. “We don’t want land anywhere for the mosque, instead we offer that also for a Ram Mandir,” said Khan.
Some members also reasoned that there were 16 plots in the acquired area, including that of the former Babri Masjid and Shilanyas point, qabristan, four ‘Qanaati Masjid’ and a mausoleum of 18th century sufi saint Qazi Qudwa (all razed). Cleric Maulana Jalal Ashraf said Muslims weren’t dependent on the government. “If it wants to pacify our sentiments, the land must be given to us in the acquired area.”
On the contrary, the temple camp including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been maintaining that the alternative piece of land for the mosque should be located outside the “shastriya paridhi” or the 15-km circle around the janmabhoomi site as the chaudha kosi and apnch kosi parikramas (perambulations) are performed along it post-Diwali in the Hindu month of Kartik.