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Ayodhya verdict: Rift in Sunni Waqf Board on review plea

Lucknow, Nov 21: Sharp differences have emerged among members of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board over the filing of a review petition in the Supreme Court against the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case and accepting the five-acre land for a mosque.

Members are questioning Board chairman Zufar Faruqi’s decision of not going in for a review of the Supreme Court verdict.

Senior Board member Abdul Razzaq Khan said: “How can the chairman take a decision without holding a meeting? It may be his personal view, but the Board decision will be taken only after the meeting, which is scheduled to be held on November 26.”

Another member, Imran Mabood Khan, also an advocate, said they favoured going for a review. “If All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is going for a review in SC, then the Sunni Waqf Board should also take into account the sentiments of the Muslim community, even if there may not be much hope,” he said.

The Board will meet here on November 26 to decide its strategy after the SC verdict. Board chairman Zufar Faruqi has consistently said since the day of the verdict that a review petition will not be filed.

Three other members — Abrar Ahmad, Mohammad Junaid Siddiqui and Adnan Farrukh Shah — are backing Faruqi on the issue.

The two dissenting members of the Board, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Mabood Khan, also said that the offer of the five-acre land for a mosque should not be accepted. Abrar Ahmad also agreed with the two on the five-acre land offer.

“A number of Muslims have approached us on whether to accept the alternative land. Another issue is, if it is accepted, what use would it be put to — to build a mosque or for a charitable purpose? We will discuss all these suggestions on November 26,” said Adnan Farukkh Shah.

Imran Mabood Khan said: “Supreme Court accepted that the mosque was built in 1528. So, its existence is proven. That it was desecrated in 1949 was also accepted and so was its demolition in 1992.

Abdul Razzaq Khan said: “Alternative land should not be accepted for ‘Allah ka Ghar’ (house of God). A review of the order should also be done.”

Board chief Zufar Faruqi, on his part, said that the fate of the five-acre alternative land will be decided in the November 26 meeting.

The Board, which has received a number of suggestions on the use of the alternative land, will deliberate on these, including ideas like establishing a hospital or an educational institution.


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