The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Id roadmap for Ayodhya mosque

Lucknow, Dec. 10: Ignoring opposition from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee, the fledgling Ayodhya Jama Masjid Trust has decided to intensify efforts to find an amicable solution to the temple-mosque dispute.

“A delegation of Muslim religious leaders will visit Ayodhya on December 26 for talks with Hindu leaders. We plan to lay the foundation stone of the new mosque one kilometre from the disputed site on Bakri Id in February,” managing trustee Sayed Asghar Abbas Rizvi told reporters here today.

The Ayodhya cell in the PMO and the commissioner of Faizabad have been informed about the move, he said.

“No power on earth can now build the mosque at the place where the idol of Ram Lalla is being kept and worshipped. So we have decided to build it outside the disputed area for a peaceful solution,” Rizvi said.

Land for the new mosque has been earmarked and will be handed over to the trust by present owner Mahant Gyan Das of Hanumangarhi, he claimed.

The personal law board has labelled Rizvi a puppet controlled by Union minister of state for home Swami Chinmayanand. The Babri Masjid Action Committee has also dismissed his initiative.

“Rizvi and his trust do not represent the Muslims. In any way, the dispute is pending in the courts and the Supreme Court has banned any move to disturb the status quo in Ayodhya,” Central Sunni Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani said.

But Rizvi claimed that other organisations like the All India Imam Sangathan, the Islamic Council of India, the All India Shia Conference, the World Millennium Islamic Conference and the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mashawarat are backing him.

The trust will lead a delegation of prominent Muslim ulemas to the meeting of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s central steering committee in Ayodhya on December 26 to explain its stand.

“VHP leaders, including Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, have given us the green signal and this will be the first time that a delegation of Muslim ulemas will meet VHP leaders and saints at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya,” Rizvi said.

He asked Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to amend the Ayodhya Act of 1993 so that the acquired land could be freed for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.

“We want the temple and the mosque to be built simultaneously so that none among both communities should have any complaint,” Rizvi said.

An unknown player in the Ayodhya tangle till he formed his trust six months ago, Rizvi has proposed the construction of the temple at the disputed site in lieu of a Jama Masjid elsewhere in the town.

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