Here are the members of the Shia Waqf Board, staking claim to build Mosque at distance from Babri Masjid spot

The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Borad, claiming the construction of Mosque away from the disputed area of Ayodhya, consists of a newly inducted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member who had taken o Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and six other members whom the state BJP government had attempted to remove on corruption charges. Altering the very contours of the decade old Babri Masjid dispute, the Shia Waqf Board had earlier informed the Supreme Court that a mosque can be constructed in a Muslim dominated area, away from the disputed site in Ayodhya. The board, which is a party in the Ayodhya case, further claimed that a part of the controversial land given to the Shia Waqf Board belongs to it.

As reported by the Indian Express, in an affidavit the boards mentioned, “…since Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf Board property, Shia Central Waqf Board UP alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with other remaining stakeholders.” Pleading for an amicable solution to the disputed issue, the board requested the court to form a panel headed by a former apex court judge, which will also comprise of members appointed by the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

As reported by The Indian Express, Bukkal Nawab, a member of the Shia Waqf Board said, “That the mosque was constructed by Mir Baqi, a governor of Babar, is borne out by the fact that the stones of the demolished structure had his credentials. Babar was not even here for five days. Sunnis staked and won claim because of political clout and numerical superiority. It is a Shia structure and Islam does not give us permission to hurt anyone — why hurt our Hindu brothers who believe it is where Ram was born. We should not object. What is the point of a mosque anyway if nobody offers namaz and it is a showpiece. The mosque should be at a Muslim-dominated area.”

A former MLA from the Samajwadi Party, Nawab resigned his seat to join the saffron party last month. The Shia Waqf Board is chaired by Syed Waseem Rizvi, who was expelled by the Samajwadi Party for anti-party activities, six years ago. Also a former BSP leader, Rizvi claims that he has not been with any political party since his expulsion from SP.

Rizvi was quoted by The Indian Express, saying. “The Sunni Waqf Board is not even a claimant. It is a historical fact that the mosque belonged to the Shias for 415 years before they arrived in the scene. The Sunni Waqf Borad has stuck to its position just to cause strife. In Islam namaz offered from a disputed site is not acceptable, so a mosque at that site has no sanctity. That is why the one-third-each solution offered by the court is not possible. Where is the mosque? It was demolished in 1992 and a mandir has been established there.”

Earlier in June this year, the newly elected BJP government in UP had removed six member of the 10 members board on corruption charges. The expelled members were, Akhtar Hasan Rizvi, Sayyed Wali Haider of Moradabad, Afshan Zaidi of Muzaffarnagar, Sayyed Azim Hussain Zaidi of Bareilly and Nazmul Hasan Rizwi and Alima Zaidi of Lucknow. However the Allahabad Court ruled out the state government’s decision stating that the removed members had not been given a chance to present case on their defence.

By Priyam Mukhopadhyay

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