The Uttar Pradesh government has shortlisted possible plots for a mosque in Ayodhya even as the Sunni Central Waqf Board remains undecided about accepting the five-acre land offer made by the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title verdict.
The Yogi Adityanath government has identified five plots in Mirzapur, Shamshuddinpur and Chandpur, all outside the "panchkosi parikrama", in accordance with the wishes of saints and seers who had wanted the proposed mosque at a 'safe distance' so that there would be no conflict in the future.
The identified sites
The Panchkosi Parikrama is performed over a two-day period in Ayodhya during the monsoon months. The devotees first take a holy dip in the Saryu River and then do a Parikrama of 15 kms along the periphery of the city. It is said that over two lakh devotees and 50,000 saints and seers from Prayagraj, Haridwar, Mathura and Kashi participate in the event.
According to official sources, the state government has identified four sites on the Ayodhya-Faizabad road, Ayodhya-Basti road, Ayodhya-Sultanpur road and Ayodhya-Gorakhpur road. The fifth site is proposed on a highway, away from the Parikrama route.
"The details of the proposed sites have been sent to the Centre for approval and clearance. We have ensured that all sites have easy access," said an official.
The Muslim parties, including the Al India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Babri Masjid Action Committee and Jamait Ulema-i-Hind has already rejected the offer of the five-acre land for the new mosque, in lieu of the demolished Babri mosque, which was destroyed by Kar sevaks in 1992, sparking deadly nationwide riots.
The Sunni Central Waqf Board is undecided and sources said that a meeting would be held next month to discuss the issue.
(With IANS inputs)