The Supreme Court-awarded five-acre land to the Muslims in the Ramjanmabhoomi title dispute case is not available in the Ayodhya town, administrative sources said, adding the land may be allotted at some other location, such as across the river Saryu where the Uttar Pradesh government plans to develop a township or at Muslim-dominated Shahenwan village, about 5km from the temple town.
Shahenwan village has a mausoleum (‘mazaar’) believed to be of Mir Baaqi, the general of Mughal emperor Babar, who built the Babri Masjid in the 15th century.
The five-acre land allotted by the Supreme Court for the construction of a mosque will not be within the acquired area of 67 acres, in the closed vicinity of former Babri Masjid site, sources said.
Before the verdict came in, prominent Muslim community leaders were under the impression that if they lost the case, they would be given land in the acquired area on the basis of provisions in the Ayodhya Act 1993, facilitating acquisition of 67.7 acres in and around the disputed site where the Babri Masjid stood till December 6, 1992. The Central government had done so in order to check communal tension.
The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Board of Waqfs has called a meeting of the Board on November 26 in Lucknow to discuss the proposed land.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has started the process to identify the alternative sites in and around Ayodhya for the proposed site of the mosque. An officer on the condition of anonymity said: “We have been asked to find the land for mosque at a prominent place.”