LUCKNOW: In a major development, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) decided to accept the five-acre alternative land allotted to it by Uttar Pradesh government at Dhannipur village under Sohawal tehsil in Raunai township on Lucknow-Ayodhya highway. The land allocated to UPSCWB is just 20 km away from the temple town. The decision to accept the land was taken at the meeting of the Board here on Monday.
After confabulations in the meeting, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board arrived at the consensus to build a mosque on the allocated land. It also decided to set up a trust to oversee the construction of the proposed mosque on five-acre land.
Moreover, the board also decided to construct a charitable hospital, a library and an Indo-Islamic Cultural Centre besides the mosque and other public utility facilities on the land allocated to it on February 5, this year.
The Board, which was one of the main litigants in the Ayodhya title suit, comprises of eight members from different fields. However, only six members including board chairman Zafur Farooqui, Adnan Farooq Shah, Junaid Siddiqui, Sayyad Ahmad Ali, Abrar Ahmad and Juneed Ahmad attended the meeting.
Remaining two members including Abdul Rajjak Khan and Imran Mabood boycotted the Monday meeting.
“The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has decided to accept the five-acre land allocated to it in compliance of Supreme Court’s November 9, 2019 decision,” said board chairman Zafur Farooqui.
He said that the board had decided to build a mosque on the land and soon a trust for the same would be set up. On the details of the mosque, its size and name, Farooqui said, “The size of the mosque will be decided to keep in mind local needs.”
Sharing other details of facilities proposed on the land, UPSCWB chairman Farooqui said that the Board had decided to establish an Indo-Islamic Cultural Centre on the land depicting the evolution of Islamic culture in context to India over the centuries. “The centre will also provide facilities for research and study of Indo-Islamic culture,” said Farooqui.
He added that the trust for the formation of the mosque would soon be set up. “However, its format, number of members and name would be shared once it is set up,” he maintained. Farooqui also said that the mosque would be built on crowdfunding model and the resources would be arranged by the mosque trust.
“Sunni Waqf Board would not spend money on mosque construction,” Farooqui claimed.
“The name of the proposed mosque will be decided by the board members and those nominated in the trust to oversee its construction,” said Farooqui.
In November last year, the Supreme Court had paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple by a trust at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a “prominent” place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, other Muslim litigants including Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mehboob of Ayodhya gave a very cold response to the UPSCWB’s decision. While Ansari said he was with the Board on accepting the land as there was no choice for him, Haji Mehboob felt that the state government had not complied with the Supreme Court order in letter and spirit.
“I am with the Sunni Waqf Board as it will do everything in the national interest,” said Ansari.
However, Haji Mehboob minced no words in expressing his chagrin. “I don’t have much to say as the Sunni Waqf Board has already accepted the land in Raunai. However, the SC order had said that the land should be allotted in Ayodhya and that has not been done. Injustice has been done to Muslims by allocating the land in Raunai,” said Haji Mehboob.