New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that his government has approved the setting up of a trust for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The formation of the trust was mandated by the November 9, 2019 verdict of the Supreme Court, which had allotted the disputed 2.77-acre land to the Hindu side in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
Making the announcement in Parliament this morning, PM Modi said the trust – to be called ‘Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra’ – would have the autonomy to take decisions freely with regard to the Ram temple and related matters. “The trust will be free to take any decision,” he said.
The PM said the trust will also be given possession of the 67.703-acre land earmarked for the construction of the Ram temple. According to the PM, a plan has been devised for building the temple on ‘Ram Janmasthali’.
PM Modi said the decisions are “in line with the verdict of the honourable Supreme Court of India,” while appealing to the house to join him “in support of the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya on this historic occasion”.
“We are all members of one family. This is the ethos of India. We want every Indian to be happy and healthy. Guided by ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, we are working for the welfare of every Indian,” the prime minister said further.
Trust to have 15 members, including one Dalit
Shortly after PM Modi made the announcement, Home Minister Amit Shah revealed that there will be 15 trustees in total. Among these 15 members on the trust, there will always be one representative from the Dalit community.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this unprecedented decision to strengthen communal harmony,” Shah tweeted, while revealing the details of the trust.
Yogi govt allots 5-acre land for new mosque
In a related development, the Uttar Pradesh government today allotted five acres of land to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a new mosque in Ayodhya. In its verdict, the Supreme Court had last November, while allotting the 2.77-acre disputed land to the Ram Lalla Virajman, had directed the Centre to give five-acre land at a prominent place in Ayodhya to the Sunni Waqf Board for a new mosque.
The Yogi Adityanath Cabinet today approved the allotment of land in village Dhannipur in tehsil Sohawal in Ayodhya, on the Lucknow highway, some 18 kilometres from the district headquarters, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma announced.
Differences in Muslim community
There were reports that in view of the developments, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board too has decided to set up an ‘Indo-Islamic Culture Trust’ for the construction of the mosque.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), however, urged the Sunni Waqf Board to reject the five-acre land. “Sunni Waqf Board is not representative of the entire Muslim community. If it takes land, it should not be considered decision of Muslims of the country,” senior AIMPLB member Maulana Yasin Usmani said.