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UP Sunni Waqf Board meeting today, decision on mosque land likely

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Lucknow, Feb 24: The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board is likely to take a decision in its meeting on Monday regarding the land given by the state government for construction of a mosque.

"We have already said about honouring the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue," board chairman Zufar Farooqui told PTI on Sunday.

UP Sunni Waqf Board

"The meeting of the board will deliberate upon the documents pertaining to allotment of land by the government. A decision will also be taken as to what should be built on that piece of land," Farooqui said.

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Asked about Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma's offer regarding formation of a trust for construction of a mosque, Farooqui said: "The government formed the trust for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya on the directives of the Supreme Court. No such instructions were issued for the mosque. This offer will be discussed in the board's meeting."

On Friday, the board had said that it did not have the option to reject the alternative piece of land given to it under the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict, but would decide how to use it when it meets on Monday. In a historic verdict in November on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of construction of a temple. It also ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque within Ayodhya. Soon after the verdict, there were suggestions that the board should not accept the land.

"Following the Supreme Court verdict, the Sunni Waqf Board does not have the choice of rejecting the five-acre alternative land for the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya as it would amount to contempt of court," Farooqui had said.

"We had been saying since the very beginning that we will abide by the court verdict on the issue, and because of this we did not go in for a review of the verdict. There has been no shift in our stand," he had said.

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Besides Farooqui, there are seven other members on the Sunni Waqf Board. Earlier this month, the Uttar Pradesh government gave the allotment letter to the board for the plot at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya's Sohawal area. It is on the Ayodhya-Lucknow highway, about 20 km from the district headquarters.

Based on the SC verdict, the Centre had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to allot five acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board. The UP cabinet made the allotment after its meeting of February 5.

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