Ayodhya Mosque facing fund crunch: Rs. 50 lakh only received so far

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Blueprint of Dhannipur mosque.

Arshad Afzaal Khan

Ayodhya—Almost four years have passed after the 5 acres of land for the Ayodhya mosque was handed over to the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh (Waqf Board), not a single brick has been laid on the site for the construction of the mosque. The activities on the site have been limited only to the flag hoisting on Independence Day and Republic Day since 26 January 2021 when the formal foundation laying ceremony was held by planting 10 saplings on the ground.

The Supreme Court in its Ayodhya judgment dated November 9,2019 had ordered that the Waqf Board be allotted five acres of suitable land in the area acquired under the Ayodhya Act 1993 or at any prominent place in Ayodhya. However, the Ayodhya administration allotted 5 acres of land in the village Dhannipur of Sohawal tehsil, about 25 km from Ayodhya City, in February 2020.

In March 2020, the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh constituted a Trust – Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation (Ayodhya Masjid Trust ) – for the construction and development of the Masjid and other facilities on the land, having Athar Husain as the Trust’s secretary and Zufar Farooqui as president. Farooqui is also Chairman of the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh.

In 46 months, the Waqf Board or the Ayodhya Masjid Trust did not receive the funds required to construct a mosque and other facilities that include a three hundred bed cancer hospital, a museum, and a research centre dedicated to great martyr of the 1857 revolt Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Faizabadi and a community kitchen.

“For the completion of the project, we need 300 crore rupees including mosque and hospital, but due to financial crunch the project has been delayed. At present we have to deposit Rs. four to five crore rupees to the Ayodhya Development Authority to get the permission released to start the construction. We have also paid the stamp duty of Rs 9,29,400 to the Uttar Pradesh government to process this land,” said Ayodhya Mosque Trust secretary Athar Husain.

“We got individual donations of around Rs. 50 lakhs only,” he stated.

Zufar Farooqui, President of Ayodhya Masjid Trust, said, “We are facing a fund crunch for our project at Ayodhya, but we trying to overcome this problem, as for the construction of Masjid, a hospital on the site and other facilities, a meeting was held at Bombay on 12 October, organised by a Muslim community leader Arafaat Sheikh. It was attended by about one thousand clerics of all sects including Sunni, Shia, Barelvi and Deobandi and representatives from all political parties. we are hopeful that funds would soon be available for the Ayopdhya masjid construction.”

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