LUCKNOW: While the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) has decided to convene a meeting on February 24 to decide if it would accept five-acre land allocated to it in Raunahi by UP government, some of the Muslim litigants in Ayodhya have expressed their displeasure and discontent over the location of the land. They have even decided to move the Supreme Court to seek justice.
Notably, Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday had approved a proposal to allocate five-acre land to UPSCWB in Dhannipur village under Sohawal tehsil in Raunahi town, 20 km from Ayodhya on Lucknow- Ayodha highway in compliance of Supreme Court’s November 9, 2019 order over the issue.
Besides All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the Muslim litigants including Haji Mehboob and Iqbal Ansari of Ayodhya reasoned it out by saying that the land allocated for mosque in Raunahi was around 25 km from Ramkot, the area of Ram Janmabhoomi, and it was too far for Muslims of Ayodhya to go there and offer namaz.
It may be recalled that the apex court had made it clear in its historic order delivered on November 9, 2019, that 67-acre land around Ram janmbhoomi Sthan would be handed over to the central government which would set up a trust to facilitate temple construction. The centre was asked to transfer the same finally to the trust. The court had also made it clear that Muslim should be given five-acre land for mosque elsewhere in Ayodhya.
While speaking to this correspondent on Thursday, Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants welcomed the trust formation but claimed that justice was not done to the Muslims of Ayodhya as the land allocated for the mosque was too far. “I had suggested a piece of land near Bijli Shaheed Masjid within the periphery of Ayodhya. Earlier, a mosque used to exist there and it would have been an undisputed piece. But the state government identified the land 20 km away from Ayodhya,” said Ansari.
Similarly, Haji Mehboob, another litigant in the title suit, also echoed the same sentiment. He said Muslims would not accept the land allocated by the state government. “I had suggested the authorities to allocate land out of the panch-kosi and 14-kosi periphery in Chakrateerth area but the government paid no heed to it. Now the only way is to move SC to seek justice for Muslims,” said Haji Mehboob.
Why was Dhannipur village in Raunahi chosen
The factors like site’s proximity to the highway, population mix of the nearby Raunahi town and communal harmony in the area have played a major role in the selection of Dhannipur village for allocation of five-acre agricultural land to Muslim side.
As per the local sources, the state government might have met the demand by some Ayodhya saints that the mosque should be situated outside the main parikrama routes in the temple town.
The state government had initially selected three spots on highways near Ayodhya before the central government finalised Dhannipur site near Raunahi town, said an official.
He added that Ayodhya district administration had shortlisted land on highways crossing the temple town, including Lucknow- Ayodhya highway, Ayodhya-Gonda, Faizabad- Azamgarh, Ayodhya-Basti and Faizabad- Sultanpur highway.
The first two spots were near the parikrama route, so the government zeroed in on Dhannipur, the officer said.
Raunahi’s population has a huge 60 per cent chunk of Muslims. The land has been allotted near the mazar of Sufi saint Shahgada Shah. Moreover, Al-Jame-atul- Islamia, a noted Islamic seminary of the Sunni Barelvi sect with respectable influence among the Muslims across the country, is also located at Raunahi.