5-Acre Plot At "Prominent" Site In Ayodhya For Mosque, Says Supreme Court

5-Acre Plot At

A temple will come up on the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya and the Central government has three months to set up a trust to build it, the Supreme Court has decided. The five-judge bench of the top court, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, also said a five-acre plot at an alternative site in Ayodhya will go for the building of a mosque. The location of this alternate site will be decided by the Central or the state government, the bench said.

The Sunni Wakf Board will be granted five acres of land in a "suitable, prominent place in Ayodhya", the top court said, adding that the Muslims should not be deprived of a structure.

The dispute involved 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya, which right-wing activists believe was the birthplace of Lord Ram. A 16th Century mosque - said to have been built by the Mughal Emperor Babur -- which stood at the spot was razed in December 1992 by right-wing activists.

Zafaryab Jilani of the Muslim Personal Law Board has said they are not satisfied with the top court's verdict.   "We will hold a meeting and take a call on whether we should file a review petition or not," he told reporters at a media conference.

"The Masjid was never abandoned... The document that you're relying on for Hindus having offered prayers there... the same document talks about Muslims offering prayers, which you are disregarding," Mr Jilani said.

In its judgment, the court said the Archaeological Survey of India has found evidence that the 16th Century mosque of Mughal Emperor Babar was not built on vacant land.

But the mosque had been abandoned, the court said. Just because offering of namaz had been stopped cannot mean the Muslims have given up possession of the mosque, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

In a series of tweets on Friday, the Prime Minister said the "Ayodhya verdict will not be anybody's victory or loss", adding that it was the priority of the country's citizens to maintain harmony.