Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—The five acres of land allotted by the UP government for Babri Masjid project at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya district has landed in dispute.
Two Hindu women, who are sisters, have moved the court claiming that the land allotted for the masjid complex in Dhannipur village, about 20 kms from Ayodhya, is their ancestral property. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on February 8.
Sisters identifying themselves as Rani Kapur Punjabi and Rama Rani Punjabi have moved a petition in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, claiming that the five acres of land allotted for the mosque project at Dhannipur village was done illegally by the state government. They have submitted that the land in question belonged to their father Gyan Chandra Punjabi and they had in their possession the revenue department’s documents with them.
Submitting details of the land, they said that their father, who had migrated to India during Partition in 1947, was allotted 28 acres of land in Dhannipur and the portion of land given for the mosque complex is a part of this land.
The said in their petition that their father was working in Nazul section of the revenue department and he had purchased the land for Rs. 1560. However, his name was removed from the revenue records by the local Sub Divisional Magistrate in 1998 but their father’s name was entered against in the revenue record when they took up the issue with the divisional commissioner. The Punjabi family were dispossessed of the land again during ‘chakbandi’ (land consolidation) in early seventies. But Gyan Chandra’s family again fought a case and got an order in its favour subsequently.
The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) floated Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust (IICFT) for construction of the mosque project after the Supreme Court directed the state government to allot five acres of land in lieu of the Babri Masjid site that was ordered to be given for temple at Ayodhya. The foundation of the project was laid with lot of pomp and show on the Republic Day in presence of local administrative and police officials. When questioned about the two sisters claiming their right over the land, IICFT secretary Athar Hussain said, “The land was allotted by the state government on Supreme Court orders. As far as the trust is concerned, our project is genuine and will construct the mosque project wherever the land for it is allotted by the government. We did not object when the land was allotted to us at Dhannipur. The dispute over the land is an issue between the petitioners and the state government. Neither the Waqf Board nor the Trust has anything to do about the dispute”.