Amid Ram Temple festivities, Ayodhya Muslims wait for mosque project to kick off

The foundation entrusted with the mosque’s construction points to a paucity of funds.

WrittenBy:Basant Kumar
Date:
   

While the Ram Temple is all set to be inaugurated, the five-acre plot in Dhannipur where a mosque is supposed to come up in Ayodhya shows no signs of construction activity. The plot is 25 kilometres away from the heart of Ayodhya and in the vicinity of an old shrine. 

As goats graze on the ground and children play cricket, Mohammad Zilam Khan sits on a charpoy, and points to the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation signboard with an old construction plan which has now been revised. 

“The media comes each day. They ask questions and leave. Nothing is happening here. There has been talk of a mosque ever since the Supreme Court order. But is anything happening here? What do we tell you? We don’t have any hope,” says Anees Khan, who lives near the site.

“If there was a brick we would’ve told you if the mosque would be built,” says Wasid Khan, another local.

But why hasn’t construction started?

Two members of the IICF told Newslaundry that a delay in a no-objection certificate and a paucity of funds are the primary reasons for the delay.

The foundation’s spokesperson Athar Hussain says, “The funds haven’t come in yet…even if we get clearance, we have to submit a big amount to the Ayodhya development authorities. It can only happen if we get funds. And only then will we be able to tell you when the mosque will be constructed.”

Maharashtra BJP leader Haji Arfat Shaikh is reportedly the new chief of the mosque’s development committee, which aims to build one of the biggest mosques in India. The previous plan, by professor SM Akhtar, the founder-dean of the faculty of architecture at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, had included a hospital, community kitchen, library, and a research centre, across 4,500 square metres.

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