Screengrab of Lok Sabha TV shows Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announcing the formation to a trust for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 5 February 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced in Lok Sabha the formation of a trust to construct a Ram Temple in Ayodhya as directed by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case in November last year.

Making a statement in the lower house soon after the meeting of the Union Cabinet, Modi said: “We have readied a scheme for the development of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. A trust has been formed, it is called ‘Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra.”

Since Parliament is in session, the government decided to inform the House on the important decision taken by the Cabinet.

The prime minister said that after the verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue came out, the people of India displayed remarkable faith in democratic processes and procedures.

“I salute the 130 crore (1.3 billion) people of India,” he said.

“Let us all support construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” he said, amid “Jai Shri Ram” slogans from treasury benches.

The Supreme Court had directed the government to form the trust within three months and the deadline was ending on February 9.

It has also been decided to transfer 67.703 acre land to the trust, he said, adding the Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to give five acres of land to the UP Sunni Wakf Board as directed by the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya matter.

15 trustees; one to be Dalit

Union Home Minister Amit Shah later announced that the trust will have 15 members and one of them will be from the Dalit community.

“There will be 15 trustees in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust out of which one trustee will always be from the Dalit society,” he tweeted.

Shah congratulated Modi “for such an unprecedented decision” that strengthens social harmony.

“I fully believe that the waiting of millions of people for centuries will be over soon and they will be able to pay obeisance to Lord Shri Ram in his grand temple at his birthplace,” he said.

Land to Sunni Waqf Board near Ayodhya

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday said it has allotted five acres of land in Ayodhya district to the Sunni Central Waqf Board as directed by the Supreme Court.

The land is in Dhannipur village in tehsil Sohawal in Ayodhya on the Lucknow highway, about 18 kilometres from the district headquarters, state government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma told reporters.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday morning.

“The state government had sent three alternatives for land to the Centre. This one was accepted by the Centre and state cabinet has approved its allotment. There is good transportation facility to reach here and communal amity and law and order are also good,” Sharma added.

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