Muslim litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case have expressed unhappiness over the location of the five-acre land allotted by the Uttar Pradesh government for construction of a mosque in Dhannipur, saying it is too far from the town.
The land was selected by the Centre from a shortlist of proposed sites the state government had sent to it. The site is 25 kilometres from where the proposed Ram temple will come up and 18 kilometres from the district headquarters, Faizabad.
Haji Mehboob, one of the litigants in the Ayodhya title suit case, said, “The land is too far from Ayodhya. No Muslim will go there to offer namaz. The land should be in Ayodhya to make it more convenient for us to offer prayers.”
Dhannipur village and its adjoining areas have a sizable Muslim population.
Khaliq Ahmad Khan, who is a nominee of the litigant Maulana Mahfoozurahman, a native of Ayodhya, said: “The state government should have allotted the land in Ayodhya [town]. There is no justification for allotting five-acre land 18 km from the district headquarters.”
Afaq Ahmad Khan, convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, felt the Centre should reconsider its decision.
Shia religious leader Azim Baqri also opposed the choice of land for the mosque.
Iqbal Ansari, another litigant in the Ayodhya title suit, said, “Land is too far from Ayodhya. It should have been allotted in the city. It is now for the Sunni Central Waqf Board to decide about the Centre’s offer [of land].”
It has been a long-standing demand of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad that the mosque should be constructed outside limits of Ayodhya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement for the formation of a trust to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya in line with the Supreme Court directive was separately welcomed with a special prayer ceremony at the Hanuman Garhi temple here.
Karsevakpuram, the epicentre of Ram Mandir movement in Ayodhya, wore a festive look.
“As news of the announcement of the trust by Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached here, sweets were distributed at Karsevakpuram,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
At the Bharatiya Janata Party office too, party workers distributed sweets.