'Proposed Ram Temple has graveyard on its land'

Proposed Ram Temple land has graveyard, claim Muslim residents in Ayodhya

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Muslim residents in Ayodhya claimed that the land on which Ram Temple construction was proposed had a graveyard and sought to know from the members of the newly formed Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Trust if a temple could come up on graveyard.

In a letter to the Trust, Ayodhya resident Haji Mohammad and some others said that the 67-acre land acquired by the central government after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 also had around five acres of graveyard.

''The central government did not consider this fact (graveyard),'' the letter said. 

Stating that the graveyard land, which was situated near the demolished Babri Masjid, was known as ''Ganj Shahidan'', the residents said that it might not be visible now but it had existed earlier.

The letter added that as many as 75 Muslims, who had been killed in riots in Ayodhya in 1885, had been buried in the graveyard.

''Can a temple be built on a graveyard?...those, who know and understand the Hinduism well, should ponder over it,'' the residents went on to say in the letter. The residents said that the graveyard land should be left for the Muslims.

The Ayodhya district administration, however, said that there was no graveyard inside the acquired land. ''There is no graveyard within the acquired land....this issue had also come up during the hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Title Suits...but the apex court verdict did not mention it,'' said a senior district official in Ayodhya.

Earlier the Muslim plaintiffs in the suits had also asked the Trust to allow them to take the Babri Masjid debris but the former denied the request.

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