LUCKNOW: The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB), on Friday, accepted the alternative piece of five-acre land allocated by the Uttar Pradesh government on February 5.
The land offered by the state government at Dhannipur village in Sohawal tehsil under Raunai township, 20 km away from proper Ayodhya.
The Board said it did not have the option to reject the alternative piece of land given to it under the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict but it would decide its use at its meeting on Monday.
The plot of land is situated Lucknow-Ayodhya highway.
Notably, the stand of the UPSCWB is a departure from the stand of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the Muslim outfit which had asked the Board to reject the alternative land.
In a historic verdict on November 9, last year, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the construction of a temple and asked the state government to allocate an alternative five-acre plot to UPSCWB for a mosque.
Soon after the verdict, there were voices from the Muslim side suggesting the board against accepting the land.
"Following the Supreme Court verdict, the Sunni Waqf Board does not have the choice of rejecting the five-acre alternative land for the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya as it would amount to contempt of court," said UPSCWB chief Zafur Farooqui.
"We had maintained that we will abide by the court verdict on the issue and that is why we did not go in for a review of the apex court verdict on the vexed issue. There has been no shift in our stand even today," he said while interacting with media persons.
"But the use of the land given to us by the government will be decided at an all-important- meeting of the board on Monday,” he said.
"Farooqui said the apex court order clearly stated that the Uttar Pradesh government would allot a plot to the board and 'we had the liberty to build a mosque and associated amenities on it'. It did not say that the board had the liberty of rejecting it," he added.
UPSCWB has seven other members along with Farooqui.