Shia waqf board claims Babri Mosque

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By Nizam Hussain

LUCKNOW, India:UP Shia Central Waqf Board has decided to challenge a 1946 order of a Faizabad court, which awarded the ownership of the Babri mosque to the Sunni Central Waqf Board.

According to Times of India UPSCWB will become a party in all ongoing litigation related to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, by claiming that the mosque —
which was demolished by a mob on December 6, 1992  —  was a Shia waqf property.

As a first step towards doing so, the board has decided to challenge a 1946 order of a Faizabad court, which awarded the ownership of the Babri mosque to the Sunni Central Waqf Board. Therefore, the Sunni board has been a party from the Muslim side in the title suite pending before the Supreme Court.

In its statement on Thursday, the board said that Waqf Masjid Mir Baqi popularly known as Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was a Shia mosque. Board chairperson Waseem Rizvi also raised doubts on the role of the board back in 1946 alleging conspiracy on part of the board to lose the court case against the Sunni board.

“The mosque was built during the reign of Babar by Mir Baqi who, as history states, was a Shia from Persia. It was always a Shia mosque by that virtue, with the Mutawwalis all from the pedigree of Baqi. Only the Imam and Muezzins of the mosque were Sunni who were paid their due by the Shia Mutawwali. Namaz was offered by both Shia and Sunnis,” claimed Rizvi.

Explaining the board’s view further, Rizvi said, “It was in 1944 that the Sunni board registered the mosque under its wings which was challenged in court by Shia board in 1945. But the Shia board lost that case by not putting up a proper defence and the mosque was judged as being Sunni waqf. None in these years ever petitioned to review that order in the high court or any courts. I found that order now and so have been given the responsibility by the board to stake claim to its ownership.”

According to Rizvi, an inscription stone at the mosque had also declared Mir Baqi as wakif, the one to have given the land as waqf. “It was only judged as Sunni mosque because of Taraweeh prayers which is not offered in a Shia mosque,” he said.

Claiming that all formalities will be undertaken in a week, Rizvi also said that the board will enter as party to the hearing under way at the Supreme Court (SC) after the September 2010 high court order dividing the disputed land into three parts, with one part going to the Sunni Waqf Board.

“The Sunni Waqf Board’s registration number for the case was cancelled by the court itself and so it should not be considered the Muslim party to the whole case,” claimed Rizvi. It will be through this reference that Rizvi said the Board will enter as party to title suit.


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