The Ayodhya mosque project was formally launched on Republic Day, with the unfurling of the tricolour and a tree plantation drive at Dhannipur, around 24 km from the Ram Janmabhoomi, exactly six months after the Sunni Waqf Board constituted the mosque's trust -- Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation.
The trust was constituted following the 2019 Supreme Court verdict that backed the construction of a temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot be found for a mosque in Ayodhya in lieu of the Babri Masjid.
The blueprint of the mosque complex, which includes a hospital, was unveiled on December 19.
The Ayodhya Mosque Trust project was formally started on India's 72nd Republic Day after unfurling of the national flag by Trust chairman Zufar Ahmad Farooqi and planting of nine trees by its members.
Professor R K Singh of the Awadh University and his wife Dr Sunita Sengar, an associate professor at the varsity, donated Rs 22,000.
"The new mosque will be bigger than the Babri Masjid, but won't be a lookalike of the structure which once stood on the Ram Janmabhoomi premises. The hospital, of course, will hold the centre stage on the five-acre land allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya," secretary of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation Athar Hussain said.
"The hospital will serve humanity in the true spirit of Islam and as taught by the prophet in his last sermon 1400 years ago. The hospital won't be a usual concrete structure, but will be in sync with the architecture of the mosque, replete with calligraphy and Islamic symbols," he said.
It will house a 300-bed speciality unit, where doctors will provide free treatment to the ailing, Hussain said.
“The Trust chose January 26, 2021, for laying the foundation of the Ayodhya mosque as on this day our Constitution came into effect more than seven decades ago. Our Constitution is based on pluralism, which is the leitmotif of our mosque project,” he said,
Besides Farooqi and Hussain, trustees Adnan Farrukh, Dr Sheikh Sauduzzaman, Mohammad Rashid and Imran Ahmad, and the Imam of the Tiley Wali Masjid of Lucknow Maulana Wasifur Rehman were present for the event.
Local functionaries of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, a branch of the RSS, also attended the function, with its Ayodhya president Dr Anil Singh donating Rs 2,100 for the mosque project. Talking to PTI, Singh said, " With the Ram Mandir, the Hindu community at large will be supporting the construction of this grand mosque, it will be the best example of communal harmony from Ayodhya."