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Ayodhya Muslims Reject 5-Acre Land Proposal

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Ayodhya: Prominent Muslims in this holy town have expressed reservations about accepting the five-acre land, as decided by the Supreme Court in its verdict on November 9 allotting 67 acres of the entire acquired area for the Ram temple.

Maulana Badshah Khan, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in Ayodhya who was a party in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case from the Muslim side, said: “We fought the case for the Babri Masjid land, not for any other land. We don’t want any other land for mosque anywhere, and instead, we offer that land too for Ram Mandir.”

He said if the Muslims wanted to build a mosque, they could do so. “We can purchase land and build our mosque; we are not dependent on any government. If the court or government wants to assuage our sentiments, then the 5-acre land must be given within the acquired area as land marked as graveyards and a ‘dargah’ was also acquired,” said Maulana Jalal Ashraf, a local cleric.

Iqbal Ansari, who was also the main litigant in the case, said: “If they want to give us land, they must do so according to our convenience and only in that acquired 67-acre land.”

Dr Yusuf Khan, a Muslim social activist in Ayodhya, said: “There are enough mosques in Ayodhya to take care of our religious needs. Since the apex court has given its verdict in favour of Ram Temple, the issue is closed now.”

Khaliq Ahmad Khan, General Secretary of the All India Milli Council and a party in Ayodhya case from the Muslim side, said: “The government must give us land in the acquired area. There are 16 plots in the acquired area, including the plots of former Babri Masjid and ‘Shilanyas’. This includes a ‘qabristan’ (graveyard), four ‘Qanaati Masjid’ and a mausoleum of the 18th century sufi saint Qazi Qudwa. Some these have been razed”, he added.

Haji Asad Ahmad, Corporator of Ayodhya Municipal Corporation, said: “We don’t want any land in exchange for Babri Masjid. We don’t want donation of land.”

However, a lead counsel for the Muslim parties in the Ayodhya land dispute case has said the decision on seeking a review of the verdict would likely be taken in a meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday.

Senior advocate Zafaryab Jilani said that the decision, whether they would seek review of the verdict or not, will be taken on November 17 in the meeting.

Jilani responded to the question of whether the Muslim parties were contemplating to seek a review of the verdict in view of the dissatisfaction in certain sections of the community.

The senior advocate had represented the Muslim parties, including the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, in the case in trial court, Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court.

While decreeing the lawsuit in favour of deity “Ram Lalla Virajman”, the apex court had exercised its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution and directed the Centre to allot five acres of land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for construction of the mosque.

It clarified that either the central government could give the five-acre land to the Sunni Waqf Board from the nearly 68 acres land that it had acquired in 1993 under the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act or the state government could hand over the piece of land at a “suitable prominent place in Ayodhya”

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