UP Sunni Waqf Board forms trust to build mosque

UP Sunni Waqf Board forms trust to build mosque

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board formed a 15-member-trust on Wednesday to look after the construction of a mosque on five acres of land allotted by the Supreme Court that paved the way for a Ram Temple in Ayodhya town in a landmark verdict last year.

Zufar Ahmed Faruqi, chairman the board – which was the main Muslim litigant in the title suit — said the trust was named as Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation, which will ensure the development of the allocated land in Dhannipur village in Ayodhya, which the board accepted in February 2020.

“The trust will ensure the construction of mosque and other facilities to facilitate the general public,” read a statement issued by the board.

In November last year, the top court directed the Centre to set up a trust for the construction of a temple at the 2.77 acre disputed site in Ayodhya, and allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for building a new mosque. The verdict ended a decades-old dispute over the religious site, where the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6. 1992.

The board statement stated that the trust would have 15 members. The board’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was nominated as founder trustee. Chairman Faruqi was nominated as the chief trustee. The board also nominated Adnan Farukh Shah, Athar Hussain, Faez Aftab, Mohammed Junaid Siddiqui, Sheikh Sauduzzaman, Mohammed Rashid and Imran Ahmed as the other members.

“The Trust will co-opt the remaining six trustees. The secretary of the Trust will also be its official spokesperson,” said Faruqi.

The development came on a day state police sounded high alert in all districts with stern direction to intensify vigilance and bolster security during the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram temple, scheduled to be held in Ayodhya on August 5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone around 12.15pm that day.

Police officials said senior officers of additional director general (ADG), inspector general (IG) and deputy IG (DIG) rank were deputed in nine sensitive districts sharing a border with Ayodhya and located on the India-Nepal porous border.

UP Director General of Police (DGP) Hitesh Chandra Awasthy’s order stated that police have to adopt zero-error policy to ensure no law-and-order problem, crime control and hassle-free VVIP programmes, following which senior officials were asked to supervise police preparations in some districts.

State police officials said a similar alert was sounded in all districts in view of upcoming festivals and Independence Day celebrations. They said all district police chiefs were asked to intensify vigilance at market places, bus stations, religious places and other crowded areas. They said the directions have also been issued to carry out regular checking drives to keep check on movement of suspicious people.

Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, with many raising objection over the limited number of people being invited for the ‘bhumi pujan’, Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust announced a plan to felicitate ‘Kar Sevaks’ (Hindu devotees) at another grand function — Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Nirman Yajya — to be organised after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

For the ‘bhumi pujan’ function, the trust has invited only 200 people, including Prime Minister Modi. Other invitees include Union ministers, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office-bearers and industrialists.

Champat Rai, general secretary of the Trust, issued an appeal to ‘Kar Sevaks’ to be patient and wait for the pandemic to get over. “In the Ram Mandir movement, large number of ‘kar sevaks’ had contributed. They all want to come to Ayodhya for the ‘bhumi pujan’. We also wanted the same but due to the Covid-19 pandemic this is not possible at present,” said Rai adding, “Bhumi pujan by the Prime Minister is necessary to start the construction work of Ram Mandir.”

Assuring to invite ‘kar sevaks’ and all devotees in the near future, Rai said: “After the pandemic is over, the Trust will organise Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Nirman Yajya in which all ‘Kar Sevaks’ and devotees of lord Ram will be invited.” He also requested people not to come to Ayodhya and instead watch the live telecast of the ceremony on Doordarshan.

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