The construction of a mosque at an alternative site on the outskirts of Ayodhya allocated after the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Babri Masjid case may begin in May next year, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.

In November 2019, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgement held that the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 was illegal, but handed over the land to a trust for the construction of a Ram temple. At the same time, it directed that a five-acre plot be allotted in Ayodhya to Muslims for a mosque to be constructed.

In May 2020, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board set up the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation and tasked it with constructing a mosque on a plot of land at the Dhannipur village on the outskirts of Ayodhya.

Zufar Farooqui, chief trustee of the foundation and chairperson of the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, said that it would be difficult to state a timeline for the project. “We are expecting that by the end of May next year, construction work will start,” he said, according to The Indian Express.

Farooqui said that a committee has been constituted in Mumbai to oversee the collection of funds.

“In order to collect more funds, we have created a construction committee in Mumbai which is headed by [Mumbai-based Bharatiya Janata Party member] Haji Arfat Shaikh,” said Farooqui. “The committee is working towards collection of funds. In October, we declared the design. We also plan to open a field office at the site in February next year.”

Shaikh said that the mosque is expected to be ready in five to six years, PTI reported. He said that at that time, top clerics from several countries will be invited, including the Imam-e-Haram, who leads prayers at the Grand Mosque of Mecca.

“We will invite saints and pirs from across the country for laying the foundation stone which is likely to happen early next year,” Shaikh said.

The mosque in Ayodhya will be named after the prophet of Islam, and will be called Masjid Mohammad Bin Abdullah.