Hospital or School to be Built on Ayodhya's Mosque Site? Sunni Waqf Board to Decide Next Week

Lucknow: The Sunni Central Waqf Board has called for a key meeting on February 24 in which a decision on acceptance of alternative land for a mosque in Ayodhya is likely to be taken. All the eight members of the board have been asked to be present at the meeting.

The five-acre plot for the mosque in Ayodhya was allotted by the Uttar Pradesh government nearly 25 kilometers away from the Ram Temple Complex at Dhannipur village, in Sohawal Tehsil of Ayodhya.

The Sunni Waqf Board, sources said, will not only decide whether to accept the land, but also what should be built on it if it does accept. There have been proposals to use the plot to build a hospital or school at the site.

A senior member of the Sunni Waqf Board on condition of anonymity, told News18, “All the members have been informed and called for the key meeting. The board will first decide on to accept the land or not, after which it will be discussed if the board wants to construct a mosque or any other institution like a hospital or school on the land.”

As per sources, two members out of the eight - Syed Imran Khan and Abdul Razzaq - are not in favour of accepting the alternative land for the mosque as this violates Sharia law, they say. However, the chairman of Sunni Waqf Board, Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, was confident of passing the proposal of accepting the land.

Meanwhile, litigants in the Babri case have said that the land chosen for the mosque was too far from the town and the decision should be reconsidered, or they would not be left with any option but to approach the Supreme Court once again. “The site for mosque is too far from Ayodhya. It will be difficult for people to go that far to offer Namaz. The decision should be reconsidered and land must be allotted nearby,” Haji Mahboob, one of the litigants, told reporters.

Iqbal Ansari, the son of Hashim Ansari, one of the main parties in the case, also expressed his desire for land allocation in an area close to the temple-mosque site. “The allocated land is quite far from Ayodhya. It should be in the city making it convenient for the people. It is now up to the Sunni Waqf Board to accept the land or not.”

In November, the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict had granted the ownership of the site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims entirely to Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram. It then ordered the government to set up a trust to oversee the construction of the temple, and allot five acres of land at a “prominent place” in Ayodhya for a mosque.