An alternative mosque set to be constructed as part of the settlement of the Babri mosque case in India is awaiting government clearance, according to officials.
The 16th-century mosque in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh was demolished in 1992 by Hindu hardliners, who claimed the site was the birthplace of one of their gods, Lord Ram.
In 2019, the decades-long dispute between the Hindu and Muslim populations in the country was settled after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a temple at the site.
The court ordered the allotment of 5 acres of land to the government-run Sunni Central Waqf Board to build a new mosque in the northern state of Ayodhya.
To proceed with the construction of the mosque, the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation trust was formed by the court.
In January, the trust officially launched the alternative mosque located in Dhannipur village with a flag hoisting ceremony along with the planting of tree saplings.
On the Dec. 6 anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque, members of the trust said construction has not begun because mosque officials have not received clearances.
"There are approvals which we have to get before we can start the construction work," Athar Hussain, secretary of Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, told Anadolu Agency.
"We hope to receive them very soon," he added.
Athar said apart from the mosque, a hospital will be constructed -- an undertaking which is expected to cost $14 million. "These facilities are much needed in the nearby area and population," he said.
No to new mosque
Many community representatives said Muslims have not accepted the move to construct an alternative mosque.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a Muslim body in India, has rejected blueprints for the mosque that were announced by the trust.
"The Muslims have already rejected the proposal to accept the land at any other place. The mosque (by the trust) is against Shariah," said Zafaryab Jilani, secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Moulana Hakimuddin Qasmi, general secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind, India's largest socio-religious Muslim organization, told Anadolu Agency that the group supports the stand of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on the issue.
Indian Muslim leader and parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi said earlier that praying at the mosque’s alternative site is wrong when Islamic teachings on the issue are considered.
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