The Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board on Monday offered to amicably resolve the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute – it proposed to have the Ram Temple constructed on the disputed land in Ayodhya and to have a mosque built in Lucknow, PTI reported. Chairman Wasim Rizvi said they had submitted a draft proposal on the matter in the Supreme Court on Saturday.
“The board is of the view that instead of Ayodhya, a Masjid-e-Aman be constructed in Lucknow’s Hussainabad area, and it has requested the government to provide one acre for it,” Rizvi told journalists at a press conference. The chairman of the All India Akhara Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri, was also present at the media briefing.
Rizvi said the Shia board, as the caretaker of the Babri Masjid, had decided to give up its right over the land in Ayodhya. He claimed that the board’s views on he matter were never considered in the past because the lawyers arguing in the case were “fake”.
“The Shia Waqf Board is being accused of becoming active on the Ayodhya dispute lately, but the reality is that it had no knowledge that lawyers have been deployed in the court from its side,” he said. “The government needs to inquire as to who had deployed counsels on behalf of the board who did not plead the case properly.”
In August, the board had told the Supreme Court that a mosque can be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the site of the disputed land. “If the Ram temple and mosque co-exist, it will lead to conflicts,” it had said.
The Ayodhya dispute
The dispute over the ownership of the 2.7-acre Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land has raged for decades. On December 6, 1992, Hindu volunteers gathered at the site had demolished the mosque. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country.
In September 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had divided the site where the mosque once stood into three – two parts for Hindus and the third for Muslims. All the parties involved had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court.
In March, the Supreme Court had suggested resolving the matter out of court. Calling the subject was sensitive and sentimental, it had asked all parties to attempt to sort it out together and said it would appoint a mediator if negotiations failed.