A group of retired Muslim bureaucrats, doctors, and army men working under the banner of “Indian Muslims for Peace” on Thursday said the community should hand over the Babri Masjid land, which was razed to the ground by marauding Hindu mobs to the Indian government, in what they called as “goodwill gesture”.
At a press conference in Lucknow, the group said that Muslims should give up claim to the land where Babri Masjid once stood, assuming this would ensure peace in the country.
“In our collective wisdom, the disputed land owned by Muslims of India may be handed over by the Supreme Court of India to the government of India as a goodwill gesture for attaining communal harmony and long-lasting peace in the country,” read the resolution by the group, which they said will be submitted to the Ayodhya mediation panel.
Even if the Muslim side wins the case in the Supreme Court, then too, their share of land should be handed over to the Hindu side for the construction of Ram temple, the group said.
Community asks, who are they?
The All India Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani has slammed the group for their proposal, saying they have no say in the matter.
“I know Lt Gen Zamir Shah…but who else knows him? Who are they to offer the Ayodhya land as a gesture of goodwill? Does the larger Muslim population know anything about them? I don’t know what their agenda is and I don’t care what they have to say in the matter. Not even 0.1% of Muslims know who they are.”
“They are just a group of retired government servants with no say in the matter”, Jilani said.
The group’s comment was widely condemned on social media, with many asking if Babri Masjid was their personal property to hand over.
If u are so much interested in handing over land then hand over your personal property or family property with your Hindu Neighbours and get lot of goodwill..Masjid is not your family property.. so stop bothering about it and do something else to please your masters. https://t.co/tfEshz3Xlj
— Anis Ahmed (@AnisPFI) October 10, 2019
With Ayodhya Case In Court On Last Lap, Muslim Group Says Gift Land To Hindus – NDTV https://t.co/kwbbngjIZk
WHAT AUTHORITY THIS GROUP HAS TO GIFT A PROPERTY NOT OWNED BY THEM? BY THE BY, IS THERE A SECOND MAN IN THIS GROUP?
— E M Abdul Rahiman (@EMAbdulRahiman1) October 10, 2019
Don't be a dumb & think that Hindutva Gang will happily sleep after building a temple at Ayodhya! They don't care about the temple, they do it for power. Why will Hindus vote for these morons if they become secular? https://t.co/OrvwXyKPJt via @timesofindia
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) October 11, 2019
Babri case has always been symbolic for Muslims. It was not about a mosque, but about equal citizenship. If Muslims ever 'hand over the land', it would not be some 'large hearted gesture' but a craven acceptance of their second class status. https://t.co/WMexeNLiyS
— Asim Ali (@AsimAli6) October 11, 2019
The Muslims who attended the meeting included Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor, general Zameeruddin Shah, former IAS officer Anis Ansari, Padma Shri Mansoor Ahmed, former UP minister Moid Ahmed, and former IPS officer Nisar Ahmed from Karnataka.
The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was razed to the ground on December 6, 1992, by extremists Hindus, claiming that it was built on the site of a temple allegedly destroyed by Muslim rulers. The demolition of the medieval mosque, which was constructed under the rule of the first Mughal Emperor Babar, triggered religious riots in many parts of India that resulted in the death of more than 1000 people.
The dispute over the land has been going on for several decades, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to it.