All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Zafaryab Jilani on Wednesday opposed the first architectural plan to build a mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya city, saying it was against the Waqf Act and “illegal” under the Shariat or Islamic law, PTI reported.

The architectural plan for the project was released on December 19 by the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, a trust formed by the Uttar Pradesh government and the State Sunni Central Waqf Board. The blueprint showed the design of a mosque and a hospital that will be built on the five-acre land allotted in Dhannipur village of Ayodhya, 29 years after the demolition of Babri Masjid. Besides this, a community kitchen and a modern library will also be set up in the complex.

“According to the Waqf Act, mosques or land of mosques cannot be bartered,” said Jilani, who is also the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee. “The proposed mosque in Ayodhya violates the Act. It violates the Shariat law as the Waqf Act is based on the Shariat.”

SQR Ilyas, another executive member of AIMPLB, said they have rejected the proposal to accept the land for the mosque at any other place, referring to the Supreme Court judgement in the Ayodhya title dispute case. In November last year, the Supreme Court permitted the construction of a Ram temple where the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.

“We lost the title suit and so we don’t need a land for a mosque,” Ilyas said. “The Muslims have, however, rejected this land at Dhannipur given in compensation. The mosque being built by the trust constituted by the Sunni Central Waqf Board is just a symbolic one.”

Ilyas alleged that the Sunni Central Waqf Board was working under the pressure of the government.

Athar Hussain, secretary of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, said everyone interprets the Shariat law in their own way. He also said the land allotted under the directive of the Supreme Court cannot be illegal.

“The power for interpretation of Shariya does not lie in the hands of some limited people,” Hussain added. “The mosque is the place for offering namaz. So what is wrong if we are building a mosque?”

The foundation stone laying ceremony to formally launch the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya will be held on Republic Day in January.