Seemandhra Muslims demand compensation for sale of Wakf properties

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 12 August 2013 | Posted in , ,

By Siva G & Syed Akbar

Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: With the division of the state now looking inevitable, Muslims in Seemandhra are demanding two Haj Houses and a mega compensation package for the new Wakf Board in their region alleging that the AP State Wakf Board's activities have always been Telangana-centric.

Over the years the Andhra Pradesh State Wakf Board has spent its money and energy on Muslims and Muslim institutions in Telangana while neglecting the community in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, they alleged adding that the Wakf Board and various wakf institutions in Telangana were developed with the money from wakf bodies in Seemandhra.

Muslim leaders also alleged that properties of many wakf institutions in Seemandhra were sold for a song when Telangana leaders headed the minorities welfare ministry. The Wakf Board gets 7% of the revenue of institutions as maintenance fee, but the money was not properly utilized for development of Muslims or their institutions in Seemandhra.

"There has been virtually no development of wakf properties in Seemandhra ever since the region was merged with Hyderabad state on November 1, 1956. Successive state governments concentrated on development of wakf bodies in Telangana and neglected the institutions in Seemandhra. Government sold away thousands of acres of prime wakf properties in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Anantapur, Kadapa, and Kurnool. The money from the sale proceeds was pumped into wakf institutions in Telangana," argues Mohammad Habibur Rahman, president of Muslim United Front, Vijayawada.

Of the 35,000-odd wakf institutions in Andhra Pradesh, about 32,000 are in Telangana, around 2500 in Rayalaseema and about 1200 in coastal Andhra. But 60% of wakf properties spread over about 50,000 acres in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra have been either sold off or encroached upon.

The APSWB, Muslim leaders alleged, had failed to develop the Imdad Ghar, a multi-storey wakf complex in Vijayawada.

Social activist Abdul Azeez of Vijayawada accused the state government of always being biased towards Muslim institutions in Telangana. "A portion of the money from the sale of wakf lands in Visakhapatnam was utilized for Haj House in Hyderabad, while wakf institutions in the Port City were neglected. Not even a shed has been constructed at the Vizag Dargah for the convenience of pilgrims. The government should give back all the wakf lands sold away in Seemandhra or pay a hefty compensation to the new board that will come up in the region after bifurcation," he demanded.

The Dargah of Hazrat Syed Ali Ishaq Madani Aulia in Visakhapatnam once owned about 7800 acres of land, including 5000 acres at Devada and Palavalasa on the city outskirts. Around 2500 acres were given to coal-based power plants -- NTPC Simhadri and the Hinduja plant. Another 2000 acres at Yarada, abutting the Eastern Naval Command base, is disputed as the state government has been claiming that the land belongs to it. The Wakf Board filed a case in court claiming that the land belonged to the Alamgir mosque in the Old City.

The state government got about Rs 40 crore after it sold the Dargah land at a throwaway price. The government used a portion of the money for developing the Haj House in Hyderabad. Sources said the remaining money lying in the bank in the board's name has now grown to Rs 75 crore due to interest accruals. Muslims in Visakhapatnam are now demanding that the money be transferred to the new board in Seemandhra after the geographical division of the state.

Mohiuddin Basha, one of the heirs of Sheik Hussain, who received the Dargah land as donation about 300 years ago, that now heads Yarada Mokhasadars Welfare Association, said: "When the state was united we remained silent. Now, the money should be sent to this region. We need our money for the welfare of the Muslims here."

Visakhapatnam district Wakf Committee president Shaik Moula too joined the Muslim chorus demanding a return of the money accrued from the sale proceeds of Seemandhra wakf properties. Muslim leaders in Vijayawada, Kadapa, Guntur, and Anantapur echoed the sentiments of Basha and Moula.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

Interview with Shamim Akhtar, CEO, Delhi Waqf Board: "India for all practical purpose is a Brahmin state. Muslims are the new untouchables in the Governance of India"

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 23 July 2013 | Posted in , , , , ,

Every year many Muslim candidates sit in civil service examination but once they become successful in their endeavor of becoming an IAS officer they get disappeared, whereas some of them remain in touch with community, and there are very few who are concerned and sincerely work for the betterment of the community. Shamim Akhtar is one such IAS allied officer who has over the years done lot of good things as far as community is concerned. Shamim Akhtar is ADM north as well as CEO of Delhi Waqf Board. Those who know him or met him are well aware of the fact that he is a very down to earth officer, a passionate photographer, extremely good human being and extraordinary genius. Shahabuddin Yaqub, Managing Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com, recently talked to Mr. Akthar and explored various facets of his enterprising personality. Here are the excerpts of his interview.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: I would like to ask first about your childhood memories. Have you ever thought that you were a different boy as compared to the rest of boys of your time?

Shamim Akhtar: I was born in an average Muslim family of Bihar. My honest father could not afford the tuition fee of any private school so most of my education was through Government Schools. Early childhood memories are filled with lots of love from father and a sense of responsibility as the eldest son in a family of eleven kids.

I never thought of being any different from my peer group, but I was born with a sense of responsibility as the eldest son.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Your father was a highly regarded man and an honest officer? What are the qualities you have imbibed from your father?

Shamim Akhtar: Yes. My father was a practicing Muslim and hence a very honest officer with Govt. of Bihar as PCS (Allied) service. His memory was extraordinary and I think I have inherited from him somewhat sharp memory besides being an upright man in my own right.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Where have you done your schooling from? Whom you remember when you reminisce of your school time?

Shamim Akhtar: I did my primary schooling from Chapra and then came to Danapur Cantt as my father was transferred and continued my education in Baldeva School (a Government School) and passed my 10th in 1985. I was almost friendless during my school days. The only friend other than School books were comics (I was very fond of comic books and I almost had a library of my own).

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Who inspired you to come to Delhi and get yourself admitted in JNU?

Shamim Akhtar: I was doing my B.A (Hons.) in Sociology from B.N College (Patna University) and almost everybody was filling the form of JNU. I was not interested in pursuing M.A (my idea was to go for civil services exam as my father wanted). A friend in college, Sanjay Nagpatni, asked me to fill the form of JNU and when I said that I was not interested in M.A, he challenged that I was not intelligent enough to qualify the entrance and if I qualified he would give me five hundred rupees.

It was he who paid for the forms and fees for me too. Incidentally I qualified the test and he could not.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: What was your first experience at the time of admission in JNU?

Shamim Akhtar: My result of B.A (Hons.) was delayed and with great difficulty I managed to get the provisional result from Patna University and in that confidential result it was mentioned that I had failed in Urdu (a qualifying subject only). I rushed to Patna, and got that rectified (it's another story).

So finally on the last day of admission I was formally admitted to JNU.

Needless to say that the campus has left a very strong impression on me.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Has JNU played a great role in your life? Or is it your hard work and dedication that has opened the doors of success in your life?

Shamim Akhtar: I spent only two years in JNU (After M.A., I did not write the test for M.Phil, but went ahead with my preparation for the civil service exam). But, yes to a great extent JNU not only influenced my thought process but almost reshaped my life. Nothing comes without hard work, but without JNU my path could not be as easy.

Moreover, I met Sasmita (my classmate and now my life partner) in JNU . Without Sasmita I probably could not have achieved much in life, so my sincere thanks to JNU.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Today you are known as one of the great and most admired photographers of India. Some of your works have been regarded as world`s best photographs. How did you get this success as you have not done any course in photography?

Shamim Akhtar: By the grace of Allah, now my work in the field of photography is being recognized a bit. I am a self taught photographer since the tender age of ten. At 15 years of age I used to do commercial photography in Patna for pocket money. It's a very long journey of passion. I do not consider myself to be a successful photographer yet , but Insha Allah someday I will claim my rightful position in Paris.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: You have done few coffee table books. Please let us know about these books and where did you get idea to write these books?

Shamim Akhtar: I was posted in Lakshadweep, the beautiful coral island of India, (my first posting) and there was not even a single good book on Lakshadweep. The photographer in me could not resist the idea of doing a coffee table book. Sasmita wanted to write a monograph on Lakshadweep, so we decided to do the fusion. She wrote the text and I did the photography. This book was completed in two years without any help from government or any other organization. At one point of time Publication Division "considered" our book and after two years returned saying that it was not up to the mark.

Then Sasmita decided to publish the book on her own, and by the grace of Allah, our first book "Floating Pearls in the Arabian Sea - Lakshadweep" was published by Nishcam Publication (Sasmita's firm) in 2007.

The second book "Rode to Heaven - Ladakh" is my biker's diary which did much better in open market and boosted our confidence. This was published in 2009.

The third book "Forgotten Dilli - Portrait of an immortal city" is actually a body of work on mediaeval Delhi which took 16 long years of research and passionate photography. This book has won international applause. This was published in 2010.

My latest coffee table book is "Kailasa - a journey within". This is one of a kind book on the abode of Lord Shiva and has been liked by scholars like Dr. Karan Singh. This was published in 2011.

All our books are self funded without any support from any organization.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Apart from photography what are your other hobbies? I have heard that you are a passionate biker too? Please tell us about this.

Shamim Akhtar: Since the age of 18, I have been riding solo (mostly in the Himalayas). I can't say that I used to ride to take pictures or vice versa! I am still a solo rider and I have ridden almost all over the Himalayas on my Bullet. In fact My Ladakh book is a testimony of my ride. I have ridden to Ladakh four times now.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: As a civil servant, an allied IAS officer, how is your experience?

Shamim Akhtar: Though there are 27 services in the list of Civil Services conducted by UPSC, in reality there are only two civil services -- IAS and non- IAS. Allied services are second grade and I can't say that my experience is very positive.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: We heard about corruption. Do you agree that there is corruption in bureaucracy?

Shamim Akhtar: Without corruption bureaucracy is unthinkable. There is absolute corruption at every level.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: If so, then what is the way to eradicate the corruption from bureaucracy?

Shamim Akhtar: It's a long debate, but from my point of view to eradicate corruption, we will have to eradicate bureaucracy itself. In fact I absolutely agree with the point of view of Sardar Patel that free India should not have permanent bureaucracy which British used for the drain of wealth. It was the mistake of Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru that he retained the same pseudo son of the British. There is no difference in the then ICS or the IAS of today. Bureaucracy works for itself and not for the nation.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Many efforts are being done to increase the number of Muslims aspirants In IAS but the percentage of success is not growing. Why is it so? Is there any way to maximize the numbers in civil service examination?

Shamim Akhtar: What I feel of Civil Services, I have already mentioned in my previous answer. Though, what cannot be cured must be endured. Since India is still governed by IAS officers, there is a need of more Muslim representation in the service. Why there are very few Muslims in Civil Services, reasons are many, I would make an attempt to pen down few...

(1.) This exam requires mental confidence starting from class ten. Most of the Muslims do not take their school education very seriously. Neither there are many English medium Muslim schools in the country.

(2.) This is an expensive exam (books , coaching etc). Needless to say that the Muslim community is not very well placed financially.

(3.) This exam requires full time preparation of at least two years, which not many Muslim parents are willing to afford...

As such the reasons could be many, but the fact remains that our community is not a very well educated one. To maximize the numbers of Muslims in IAS, a long term strategy is required.

Emphasizing the need for good English medium schooling could be a good starting point.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Have you ever felt that you are being discriminated because you belong to a particular community?

Shamim Akhtar: If I say that there is no discrimination in Governance, I would be a hypocrite and an insult to my father's teachings. India for all practical purpose is a Brahmin state. Specially in Civil Services, the hierarchy is as follows...


Other Upper Caste Hindus

Lower Caste Hindus

Scheduled Caste Hindus

Scheduled Tribes






and at the bottom Muslims.

Muslims are nothing but the new untouchables in the Governance of India. Of course, I have been discriminated despite my hard work because I am a Muslim.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Why is communalism growing in India? What are the reasons according to your understanding?

Shamim Akhtar: Let's look back in history, why there was not a single Muslim reform through legislation in the time of Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru? He enacted several legislations for Hindu reforms. Communalism is not a two way process in India. It has been imposed on Muslims. and the system branded Muslims as communal and terrorists. It's a conspiracy of the Government. Look at the Babri Masjid verdict, it is very clear that how Brahmins perceive Muslim and their culture and identity.

To my understanding, if the governance of India does not change its perception about Muslims, we can expect much worse condition in times to come.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: You are ADM north as well as CEO of Delhi Waqf Board. Is there any reason to be given additional responsibility to you, while other Muslim officer could be appointed as CEO of DWB?

Shamim Akhtar: As per the Waqf Act, only a Muslim can be appointed as CEO. So there is no choice. There are very few Muslim officers, hence this additional charge is routine. Moreover, ADM is much too junior a position for my seniority ( I am 1996 Batch of DANICS and in JAG grade since 2010. Despite repeated request to services, the Govt. is not posting me to my deserving position.)

Shahabuddin Yaqub: As a CEO what are the challenges before you? How you are going to solve it?

Shamim Akhtar: The biggest challenge is the financial health of Waqf Board. I alone as CEO can't do much.

There is support from the Chairman and all the members. So, through rationalizing the property management, we are soon going to be financially independent... Insha Allah.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: DWB has ample resources to generate money but these resources are not being managed properly, do you agree?

Shamim Akhtar: Yes, the properties are not managed properly. We are trying to do so slowly but surely.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Muslims are far behind in education, health and employment. How can Delhi Waqf Board play a role to bring community forward in these areas? Community does not have good schools and hospitals in Delhi, as CEO have you given any thought to it?

Shamim Akhtar: Education, Health, and Employment is the domain of Governance and my previous few answers clarifies the attitude of Governments towards Muslims. Not much should be expected from Waqf Board which is not even able to manage its day to day affairs.

But, soon, we are going to develop our properties and even opening good schools and hospitals for the community is on our agenda.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: We perceive that DWB is not well connected with the community. As far as youths are concerned they are not very much aware about DWB? Do you want youths to be part of DWB? What initiatives are you going to take in this regard?

Shamim Akhtar: It is correct that Muslim youth are not aware of the good work being carried out by DWB, but we have to work hard to involve youth so that they understand our work and be a part in conserving Waqf properties.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Please put some light on the activities and responsibilities which are being carried out by DWB towards community?

Shamim Akhtar: There are twin fold responsibility of the Waqf Board. All the mosques, Muslim graveyards, madarsas, dargah ...etc is to be managed by Delhi Waqf Board in Delhi. Social welfare measures like widow pension, financial support to students, etc is also to be taken care of by DWB for Muslims in Delhi.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: On the occasion of thanksgiving program which was held at IICC recently you have presented dozens of your precious photographs to IICC, what prompted you to present them to IICC?

Shamim Akhtar: I have done the book " Forgotten Dilli - portrait of an immortal city" with a purpose of making the citizens aware of the fact that Delhi was not built in a day. These mediaeval monuments are witness to our composite culture and pride. The pictures from the book was displayed recently at IICC, New Delhi and I gifted them my work so that they can understand the relevance of these pictures and preserve them for future generations.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: Do you have any message for the Muslim community?

Shamim Akhtar: First of all, every Muslim in India should ask a question to himself. Who partitioned this country in 1947, and if at all it was the will of the Muslim community in India, why majority of Muslims decided to stay back in India?

We the Muslims of India must remember that our ancestors decided to stay back here for the sake of love of their motherland and that makes all of us patriots. Muslims should restrain from all kind of violence and through education and right politicization, must reclaim their rightful palace in India.

Moreover, the responsibility to unite India once again lies on the shoulder of the Indian Muslims.

We must raise voice for unification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to make India once again the glorious nation that it is.

Shahabuddin Yaqub: What are priorities in your life? In next ten year what you are going to plan?

Shamim Akhtar: My priorities are very simple, to be a good son to my family and to be good father to my kids besides being a good and responsible citizen of INDIA.

I have always pursued my passions and would continue to do so till I die. So, in the next ten years I see myself very much on the same road, few miles ahead of being the upright man that I am. Rest is the will of Allah, that always prevails.

Govt plan: Wakf assets to churn funds for Muslims

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 June 2013 | Posted in , ,

New Delhi: To generate income for the welfare of Muslim community, the central government has proposed to set up a National Wakf Development Corporation (NWDC) to develop wakf or religious endowment property on commercial lines.

Through this, the government hopes to generate Rs 12,000 crore annually, which will be used for the welfare of the community.

Union minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan on Tuesday announced that his ministry has initiated the move that will also include an efficient and comprehensive management of wakf property.

The prime minister’s high level committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar had mentioned 4.9 lakh registered wakf property, spread over an an estimated area of 6 lakh acres all over India. This makes the wakf boards the third-largest landholder in the country only after the railways and defence ministry.

A senior government official Zafar Mehmood, who also served as member of the PM’s committee, said the current income from these property was merely Rs 163 crore, amounting to a meagre rate of return of 2.7%. “But if you look at the current market value of these property something around Rs1.2 lakh crore, the return comes to a pathetic figure of 0.135%,” he said.

Mehmood estimates that these property, if managed efficiently, can generate minimum 10% returns — which will be a whopping Rs. 12,000 crore annually.

Union minister K Rahman Khan also maintained that the enhanced income from the wakf property will be utilized to upgrade the educational status and improve other human development dimensions of the Muslim community.

Outlining the priorities requiring immediate action, Khan asked all the wakf boards to complete the survey of endowment property and computerisation of their records within next three month in all the states. At a conference of representatives of state wakf boards, he asked them to audits and ensure streamlining the management, income and protection of these property.

What is wakf?

Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable property for religious, or charitable purposes.

The wakf Institutions support mosques, dargah, graveyards, etc and at many places schools, colleges, hospitals and sarais.

There are 4.9 lakh registered wakf property, spread over an an estimated area of 6 lakh acres, all over India.

(Courtesy: DNA)

Hyderabad posh lands belong to Wakf Board

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 10 May 2013 | Posted in , , ,

APSW claims 323-acre prime land

A.P. State Wakf Board has claimed that most of the plush houses and structures in the posh Jubilee Hills and Film Nagar area in the city have come up on Wakf property. The, Hakimpet, Tolichowki and Mehdipatnam, Apollo Hospital land and parts of Film Nagar are located on the land that is being claimed as Wakf property," said State Wakf Board member.

The Wakf Board issued an errata notification on Monday to the earlier Gazette which demarcated the extent of dargah land. Consequently, it is contemplating to serve eviction notices on the “encroachers”.

"The AP Gazette had erroneously published the extent of land in 1982. Old documents pertaining to the Dargah such as the muntakhab (number 786/4) issued around 114 years ago were obtained from the AP State Archives and Research Institute. These documents show that the attached dargah and serai measure 323 acres and 18 guntas," said board chairman Syed Ghulam Afzal Biyabani.

The Wakf Board is now staking claim on areas which include Jubilee Hills, Film Nagar and surrounding localities. The landed property measuring 323 acres and 18 guntas in Survey No. 92 and 102 was donated by the Qutb Shahi dynasty and was duly confirmed by the ‘Salateen Asifia’ (Asif Jahi rulers).

This property was surveyed by the Commissioner of Wakf but the Gazette notification issued on July 1, 1982 had ‘erroneously’ showed the extent of dargah property as 4,448.4 sq yards. The notification had showed only the extent of dargah, but did not consider the hilly terrain around it. Now, a Wakf Board task force team which surveyed the property in 2011 in its report said the area under Survey No. 92 and 102 was Wakf property.

But the Gazette notification was published without including the land measuring to an extent of acres 323.18 guntas, the report said. At its meeting here on Monday, the Wakf Board took note of this fact and issued an errata notification to the Gazette notification No. 26.C part II dated July 1, 1982 incorporating the actual area of acres 323.18 guntas. The Board passed a unanimous resolution to this effect.

He said the matter was examined in detail and the ‘Muntakhab’ No. 786/4 Babul Awkaf 1321 Hijri was verified. He said there was no need to refer the matter to the Survey Commissioner of Wakf for re-survey. Under section 40 of the Wakf Act, 1995, the Board could decide the matter after enquiry.

(Courtesy: The Indian Awaaz)

Waqfs In India: Need For A Rethink

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 18 January 2013 | Posted in , , , ,

By Adfar Shah

Waqf is an Arabic word derived from “Waqafa” which literally means ‘religious endowment’. It is recognized by the Islamic law as religious, pious or charitable donation. It is perpetual, inalienable and irrevocable in nature as it is something dedicated to God,therfore,cannot be sold but once a waqf always remains so. It is used in Islam in the meaning of holding certain property and preserving it for the confined benefit of certain philanthropy and prohibiting any use or deposition of it outside that specific objective. The familiar term, for such trusts, in the texts of Shariah, is sadaqah and habs. However Islamic jurists also use the term waqf, which is sometimes written as Wakf or Waqf Auqaf, Awqaf, etc,. The Islamic jurists use words Habs or Tasbil for the same concept.

Importance Of Auqaf

Waqf is a parallel economic pursuit, a parallel welfare body. It has a massive public scope because of sentiments and it can be used as an institution of economic development. Owing to religious composition of india’s social structure, the existence and role of Waqf cannot be overlooked. The notion of Waqf in India, particularly in Kashmir, is more or less represented by Waqf of properties of mosques, shrines etc. Where as the institution started from the onset of muslim rule in india (more than 800 years ago ) and today has the potential of about one lakh twenty thousand crores but even less than one percent of the income is achieved owing to mal-administration,legal issues,land grab and encroachment and absence of proper control and waqf administration (As per Sachar Committee report).

Likewise,The institution of Waqf in Kashmir exists from mid 1940’s, though in an informal way and got more formalized from 1983. In the Kashmir context, important shrines and mosques were under the control of Idara-i-Auqaf Islamia which was commonly known as Muslim Auqaf Trust (MAT). The Idara (organization) was by and large an efficient and effective organization under the overall patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah (Sher-e-Kashmir) till his death and his family but 1990’s on wards, the institution experienced deterioration in its proper functioning, though structurally it developed from time to time. The post 2000 era in Kashmir represented the major restructuring of organization and it was rechristened as J&K Muslim Waqf Board in 2003. Currently Waqf supports many darghas, madrassas, schools, colleges and Islamic University of Science and Technology in South Kashmir. Also Waqf in Kashmir has about 1200 employees consisting of imams, mutawallis, administrators and supervisors.

However the organization’s functioning in present Kashmir is being questioned by many intellectuals on the grounds of corruption, alienation and encroachment of Waqf property especially illegal occupation of Waqf land by encroacheres and administration being unable to get it back.

Prospect & Problems

Except a layman’s discussion on the concept of Waqf and the subject usually found in public debates and newspaper articles, hardly a serious scholarly discourse prevails or there lies any serious concern toward the research in Waqf studies. Currently we find that hardly any such empirical study is being done on this subject and its allied domains. Actually which makes Waqf a less understood institution and a difficult to deal with is the administration problem or creation of income generating assets. Recently through an opinionnaire, the perception of Muslim youths was sought by me both in Delhi and Kashmir (online), on the subject of the awareness about Auqaf among younger generation. Out of 100 youths, just 18 students knew about the concept of Auqaf or Waqf and about 50% of them knew Waqf as mere Waqf Board and 5% of the students could argue about the role of Auqaf in Muslim welfare.

The opinion was collected to ascertain how the Muslim youth sees the Waqf institution in India in the context of current role and prospect and Waqf’s educational role, Muslim empowerment, etc,. Also those who know anything about Waqf, instantly utter the term “Waqf Board” only. Not to talk of non-Muslims, hardly Muslim younger generation is aware of the institution of Waqf, its meaning and significance for the Muslim welfare.

The fact is even the country lacks efficient Waqf administrators to handle Waqf Boards and run the affairs smoothly. Right from the valley to the national capital, Muslim youth seem to be very ignorant about Auqaf, perhaps due to media’s negligence and dismal role of the state in promoting Auqaf. Lack of Waqf administrative services cadre. Also Waqf research has not been paid much attention and very few researches at doctoral level have been conducted in India or abroad.

However, the state of auqaf in Jammu and Kashmir and particularly Haryana has changed a lot in positive terms be that educational contribution,philonthropy,etc, despite a lot of scope for improvement. The fact is under the ample leadership of former academic M. Y Qadri (the current Vice- Chairman of J&K Muslim Waqf Board) and Mr. Naseem Ahmad (former IAS and former Vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University), Administrator of Haryana Waqf Board, both the Boards of Kashmir and Haryana have developed a lot in terms of contribution to society despite being beset with so many problems. Waqf Board under M. Y. Qadri has widened its activities especially after 2003 when it was rechristened from Auqaf Trust to Waqf Board. Currently it possesses no more than 1300 kanals (out of total 85000 kanals in the entire state as per some estimates) besides having the total property worth about Rs 2000 crores including more than 3400 shops including few shopping complexes and Hotels.

Also Haryana Waqf board has been leading all the 28 boards of the country in terms of the establishment of educational institutions,thereby contributing the Indian Muslim society in their capacity.

The Waqf can turn to a massive potential institution and thus can play a major role in Muslim upliftment; be it charity, socio-economic development of poor Muslims, education, health or Madrassa development provided spared of politicization and mismanagement which are seen in many Boards presently. Also the lack of Waqf experts haunts every Waqf Board and shortage of efficient staff and trained personnel to handle the situations is the biggest impediment to the Waqf development. Are we, as Muslim youth; ready to handle our own affairs is a question worth pondering.

But nothing will change by simply cursing the system unless we ourselves become the part of the system and work our bit for the empowerment and upliftment of our own institutions like Waqf rather than resorting to negative politics. Yes, the question is, are we ready to renovate and improve the Muslim state in the holistic country by our own actions and work, leaving apart unfair criticism and shall we be given the chance to contribute to the system?

The answer is simple. Get the skill, work hard, explore your respective fields and release the ghost of unemployment from your psyche. Before crying against unemployment, see whether you are employable and worth enough to contribute to the system or not. The problem will get solved by itself. Are we ready to keep the legacy forward or remain busy in gaining employment simply to run our own material comforts? This discussion may not enlighten us on whether there is a widely prevalent sense of Muslim alienation in the country but can surely enlighten us how the situation is perceived by Muslims which is utterly pessimistic.

While the term alienation has been widely used, its precise meaning has proved to be elusive in more ways than one. It is used generically to denote a turning away, estrangement, a state of being an outsider or the feeling of being isolated from society or a state in which a person’s feelings are inhibited so that eventually both the self and the external world appear unreal. This has serious implications for using the concept in relation to a discussion of situation of Muslims in India. Even the most casual reading of the popular discussion tells us that a wide variety of feelings and sensibilities are subsumed under this word without discriminating their implications.

Fear, resentment, a sense of protest or anger is all subsumed under the word alienation as if they were not only the same but also as if they have the same implications for behavior of Muslims. If one is serious about understanding whether alienation of Muslims prevails in society, one must begin by distinguishing these different kinds of sensibilities and identify more rigorously than has been done so far those sensibilities that denote alienation from those that denote other kinds of dispositions or sensibilities.

More …

The three basic premises of Waqf, I.e. the principle of irrevocablity perpetuity and inalienability are the main obstacles to the development of waqf properties especially Lands. Therefore, sustaining its basic principles Waqf’s contribution to the welfare of society can be made at par with other modern developmental and empowering institutions. There is need for rethinking of the present concept of waqf, either through studying the existing minority opinions or finding new solutions.

The institution of Waqf alone can be a major source of survival of the needy and can give boost to education, especially education of the poor Muslims Auqaf if developed holistically and administered properly can prove a tool of empowerment in Muslim societies and the downtrodden Muslim youth can excel well in all career pursuits. We as Muslim youth have to realize our duties and work for the holistic Islamic institutional strengthening. However, Muslim youth and scholars need to rethink and ponder seriously upon the missing links and dis junctions from their rich past as we cannot afford to progress at the huge cost of rich Islamic ethos.

Auqaf in the holistic India can bring a positive change in the life of every musli of the country because of its huge potential provided it is looked after well,regulated and controlled well and made more income generating and corruption free.Besides there is a dire need of the implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations pertaining to Wakfs in India.

[Adfar Rashid Shah is a Doctoral Candidate of Sociology at the Central University of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. India. The author hails from Kashmir Valley and has mostly been writing on social and political issues in South Asia. His articles have appeared in various national and international journals, magazines and newspapers. Besides participating in number of national and international conferences, he has produced more than one hundred publications so far. His research experiences include Iqbalian Philosphy, Youth Sociology, Change and Development, Field work, Military Sociology and Sociology of Religion. He can be mailed at adfer.syed@gmail.com.]

(Courtesy: Eurasia Review)

Central Computing Facility for Wakf Records across India inaugurated

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 04 January 2013 | Posted in , , , , ,

Helpful for Effective Administration of Wakf Properties, says K Rahman Khan

IMO News Service

New Delhi: K Rahman Khan, the Union Minister of Minority Affairs (MoMA) & Chairman, Central Wakf Council stressed the need for speedy computerization work at various State Wakf Boards to digitalize all information about 4 lakh Acre Wakf properties.

Mr. Khan said this after inaugurating the Central Computing Facility (CCF) at New Delhi on December 28, 2012. He also highlighted the emerging role of the Central Wakf Council in the light of the proposed amendment in the Wakf Act 1995 which provide for greater role of Wakf Institutions in protecting and developing the Wakf properties at various places. He said that Wakf assets are public properties and public is entitled to know and access the details. Computerization of the Records and Management of Data of Wakf properties spread across various states in an efficient and transparent manner will be very helpful in this, the Minister added.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakf in its 9th Report had recommended for a Scheme for Computerization of the Records of State Wakf Boards and Central Wakf Council during the year 2008 – 09 with a budgetary allocation of Rs.10 crores for establishment of Central Computing Facility (CCF). Under the scheme, the Central Wakf Council has been mandated to be the implementation facilitator such as providing training to the employees of the State Wakf Boards on Wakf Management System of India (WAMSI) project in co-ordination with National Informatic Centre (NIC), besides that the Council also required to liaisoning, networking and troubleshooting with the State Wakf Boards and NIC and to oversee the reconciliation of data and finally, assisting Ministry of Minority Affairs in implementation of the project.

In line with the above, the Central Wakf Council has established the Computing Facility, which was inaugurated today. The CCF is able to provide necessary guidance to the State Wakf Boards in terms of Computerization of the Records and Management of Data of Wakf properties spread across various states in an efficient and transparent manner.

Earlier speaking on the occasion Mr. Soloman, Joint Secretary (Wakf),Ministry of MA said that CCF have been set up in all the State Wakf Boards and data entry has begun. It is a small step but will make tremendous difference in serving the community. The Ministry is also moving towards strengthening State Wakf Boards, he added.

In his welcome address, Ali Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Central Wakf Council, emphasized the recent initiative undertaken by the Council for the implementation of the existing Wakf Act at different states such as completion of surveys, establishment of Wakf Boards, list of encroached properties, proper collection of Wakf income, maintaining accounts and auditing of income of the Wakfs and Wakf Boards, identification of Wakf land for development for generating higher income so as to finance various welfare programme for the economic betterment of the community. The Council has been constantly in touch with the State Wakf Boards for devising various strategies to attain the objective outlined under the Wakf Act, 1995.
Other senior officials of the Ministry of Minority Affairs and Central Wakf Council were also present on the occasion.

National Waqf Development Corporation to be constituted: Salman Khurshid

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 21 June 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Union Minister of Minorities Affairs Salman Khurshid has announced that National Waqf Development Corporation will be constituted to improve state Waqf Boards’ financial condition. The corporation will make available more funds as grants to all the state Waqf Boards, he added.

The above announcement was made by Salman Khurshid at the day-long All-India State Waqf Boards’ Conference here on Wednesday wherein he was the chief guest. Madhya Pradesh Minorities Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi, Bihar Minorities Welfare Minister Shahid Ali Khan, Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board Chairman Ghufran Azam, Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of various states’ Waqf Boards were present on the occasion.

Salman Khurshid conceded that problems of Waqf properties identification and protection etc. are major challenges before Waqf Boards of all the states. He informed that several provisions have been added to Waqf Act after consulting with all the states. The amended Act will be tabled in the next session of Parliament. Some states unnecessarily delayed putting forth their suggestions about the proposed Act, which caused further delay in finalising the draft of the Act.

Lauding computerisation of Waqf properties in Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Khurshid said that computerisation work at the national level will also be completed in a year. Like Madhya Pradesh, a website displaying information about Waqf properties will also be developed at the national level.

Cases pertaining to honorarium to Imams/Muazzens will be properly disposed of. Efforts will also be made to improve Waqf Boards’ financial condition and structure.

All the Waqf records will be rectified during the next two years. He said that all the states’ Waqf Boards will meet once again at New Delhi to discuss the conclusions to be drawn at this conference. He congratulated Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board for organising this national conference.

Ajay Vishnoi urged the Union Government to pass Waqf Act-2010 in the large interests of minorities and Waqf properties. He said that Madhya Pradesh government headed by Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan is working by taking all religions, sections and castes with it. The Prime Minister and Union Government have lauded the minority welfare programmes and schemes implemented in Madhya Pradesh. The Union Government also recommended to other states to follow footsteps of Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Vishnoi informed that Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to computerise 15,000 properties. At a recent meeting of Chairpersons and Principal Secretaries of Waqf, computerisation work done in Madhya Pradesh was also hailed. NIC-PMU (Waqf) New Delhi has also declared Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board as the best in record digitisation.

Mr. Vishnoi informed that Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board earned revenue worth Rs.11 crore last year. Managing committees have been constituted to look after 7,000 out of total 14,702 Waqf properties. So far, re-examination of Waqf properties has been made through survey in 14 districts. Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country where the State Government provides Rs.80 lakh per annum for running the Waqf Board.

He said that Madhya Pradesh is also pioneer in distribution of minorities scholarships. In view of distribution of scholarships more than the target during the last two years, the Union Government has set a target for Madhya Pradesh to distribute one lakh 85 thousand 800 scholarships. The State Government will distribute over two lakh scholarships, which is far more than the set target. The National Minorities Commission has lauded Madhya Pradesh government in connection with distribution of minorities scholarships. The Prime Minister lauded better management of Madarsas in Madhya Pradesh at a Chief Ministers’ meeting recently. The Saudi Arabia government and the Central Hajj Committee have also praised better arrangements for Hajj pilgrims in the state.

Mr. Vishnoi also referred to job-oriented training for minorities, Mukhyamantri Swarozgar Yojna, free lodging and education facilities while staying at Bhopal, Alpasankhyak Pratibha Samman and construction of Hajj House in Bhopal and Indore.

Bihar Minorities Welfare Minister Shahid Ali Khan said that the problems faced by Waqf Boards should be redressed soon. It is the joint responsibility of the Union and State Governments to save Waqf properties from land mafia. A strong Waqf Act should be enacted for protection of Waqf properties, he added.

Welcoming the guests, Ghufran Azam called for protection and upkeep of Waqf properties and help the Board take their possession. He also urged for arranging a separate fund for honorarium of Imams and Muazzens. He said that rent of Waqf properties under others’ possession should also be made available to Waqf Board. The instructions and directives about Waqf properties by the State Government from time to time should also be implemented at all the levels. Such provisions should be added to the new Waqf Act that officers and employees not complying with government’s instructions can be punished.

Meanwhile, at the outset, Ajay Vishnoi, Ghufran Azam, Chairpersons of states’ Waqf Boards, Commissioner Minorities Welfare Raghuveer Shrivastava etc. welcomed the guests. Bihar Waqf Board Chairman Mohammad Irshad, Mr. Khaliq of Assam, Mohammad Saleem of Chhattisgarh, UKC Thangal of Lakshadweep, PK Saeed of Kerala, Ghulam Afzal of Andhra Pradesh, Administrator of Orissa Mohammad Abdul Ghani, Madarsa Board Chairman Rasheed Bhai, former Member of Parliament and Board member Arif Beg, Principal Secretary Minorities Welfare Mrs. Suranjana Ray etc. were also present on the occasion. 

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

KARNATAKA: ‘Rs 2-lakh cr’ land scam rocks Wakf Board

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 March 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

Minorities’ panel ‘implicates’ politicians, IAS and KAS officers; chief fears for life

Bangalore: Misuse and encroachment of Wakf properties in the State have caused a whopping Rs two-lakh crore loss to the exchequer, dwarfing the 2G spectrum scam, the Karnataka State Minorities Commission claimed on Monday (March 26, 2012).

The Commission has ‘implicated’ almost all senior Muslim political leaders — most of them belonging to the Congress party — besides ‘indicting’ senior IAS, IPS and KAS officers.
The Commission has blamed politicians, including Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, MPs Dharam Singh and K Rehman Khan; MLA R Roshan Baig, former Union minister C K Jaffer Sharief, Iqbal Ansari, M S Ansari (late), Azeez Sait (late), Hindasgeri; MLAs Tanveer Sait, N A Haris, Qamrul Islam; former MPs Suryavamshi, Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi, among others, for the loss. It recommended that the Centre amend the Wakf Act 1995 so that “persons who have misused, encroached upon and illegally occupied Wakf properties are banned from contesting elections/ nominations, including to Wakf institutions and Board”.

It has also recommended criminal proceedings against those involved in the scam, and superseding of the Wakf Board by the government.

The Commission, which took up its study on the subject in Bidar district in November last year, submitted the 7,000-odd page report to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Monday. The report is titled ‘Study on the misuse and encroachment of Wakf properties in Bidar district’.
Gowda said the government would ensure that the properties are recovered and the guilty punished.

Karnataka Minorities Commission chairperson Anwar Manipaddy demanded that the report be placed before the Legislature.

The total encroached land in Bidar is 1,803 acres (of 2,586 acres). Of the total estate value of Wakf properties worth Rs 410 lakh crore, properties worth Rs 2 lakh crore have been either encroached on or sold illegally. There are a total 33,741 registered properties in the State in 54,000 acres.

The Commission, which conducted its study in other districts, also including Gulbarga, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram and Koppal, has alleged misuse of properties, encroachments, illegal disposal, mismanagement and fraudulent acts committed by erstwhile heads of the Wakf Board, elected representatives, politicians and others.

Manipaddy said his life was under threat. “I received threats from various quarters. The present Wakf Board chairperson Syed Riyaz Ahmed, who is absconding, too threatened me. In January, he offered me a bribe of Rs 4 crore.”

Roshan Baig, Haris and Qamrul Islam, reacting to the report, said they were clueless how anyone could come to a conclusion that they were responsible for the misappropriate of Wakf properties. He said the government must order a CBI probe into the scam.


Keep the Wakf Board under suspension for 12 months to enable probe by the Lokayukta; constitute Wakf Properties Task Force to retrieve properties; constitute a high-powered committee to work out modalities to run the Board in a transparent manner; suspend present committee for one year; Committee should have two senior IAS officers, one retired judge, two NGOs and three persons from the Minorities Commission; appoint IAS officer Rajaneesh Goel as head of the Task Force; take up land audit of Wakf properties; resume second survey by creating a Special Purpose Vehicle; remove encroachments; jail term of five to 10 years, plus fine of double the value of property encroached, sold or purchased illegally; institute criminal proceedings against those involved in the Hopcoms scam; suspend present chairman Abdul Riyaz Khan responsible for sale of Hopcoms land belonging to Dargah Hazrath Khaderi.

Politicians, officials in dock

Politicians: Suryavamshi, former MP; Naseem Patel, land developer, local politician in Bidar; Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi, former MP; Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister; Dharam Singh, MP; Qamrul Islam, former minister, sitting MLA, member of Wakf Board; C M Ibrahim, former Union minister; Alhaj Syed Yaseen, MLA; Ashfaq Ahmed Chulbul, deputy mayor, Gulbarga; R Rahman Khan, MP; Syed Riyaz Ahmed – present chairman; Roshan Baig, former minister; N A Haris, MLA (his wife, mother); C K Jaffer Sharief – former Union minister; Azeez Sait, former minister; Tanveer Sait, president, Wakf institution; Iqbal Ansari, former minister; M S Ansari (late), former minister; Khalid Ahmed, former Board chairman; former minister Hindusgiri.

Officials: Salahuddin, IAS; M F Pasha, Retd IPS; M A Khalid, Retd KAS; Mohammed Sanaulla, IAS; Maaz Ahmed Sheriff, KAS; Anees Siraj, KAS; Sadiya Sultana, KAS; M A Khalid, Retd KAS, Maaz Ahmed Sheriff, KAS.

(Courtesy: Deccan Herald)

اردو یونیورسٹی میں اردو کا قتل : اردو کے بہی خواہ کب بیدار ہوں گے؟

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 23 February 2012 | Posted in , , , , ,

عابد انور

اردو ہندوستان کی زبان کی ہے، بہت میٹھی ہے، تہذیب و اقدار کی زبان کی ہے، اس کے بغیر انسانیت مکمل نہیں ہوسکتی، اردو نے گنگا جمنی تہذیب کو فروغ دینے میں بہت اہم کردار ادا کیا ہے وغیرہ وغیرہ یہ ایسے خوشنما اور

IMO Exclusive: With Bihar’s ex-Minister & JD (U) leader’s covert help, maternal nephew grabs Wakf property in Gaya

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 07 October 2011 | Posted in , , , , ,

By H.R. Ahmad

Gaya (Bihar): Plaza Market, which is a part of Wakf 99, has all along been in the news for some wrong reason or the other. This time around, Plaza Market – a commercial hub – spread over 13 kotthas of land on G.B Road, Gaya, has shot into limelight because of the false claim to its ownership made by the maternal nephew of Shakeel Ahmad Khan at a press conference on 27 August, 2011.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar embracing political turncoat Shakeel Ahmad Khan
The emergence of the bonafide trustee of the market on the scene, Arif Khan alias Khurram Khan appointed by the Sunni Wakf Board Patna made Ozair Khan pass sleepless nights, and he hurriedly called a press conference to let the tenants of the market know that it was not a trust (wakf) property but his own. The papers provided to the mediapersons by Mr. Khan in support of his claim not only reflects the dishonesty of Akhtar Begum, the second wife of its Mutawalli (trustee) of Wakf 99, Babu Mushtaque Ali Khan, but also manoeuvre of the caucus involved in making the muck of the whole property.

It would not be out of place to give an introduction of Akhtar Begum, the second wife of the first trustee (mutawalli) of Wakf 99. She was a widow hailing from Bhagalpur. She had a daughtar Roquiyya Khanam from her first husband. She was later married to one Mr. Zainuddin, son of late Abdul Ghani, a well-known lawyer of Munger district. She is presently living in Aligarh.

Shakeel Ahmad Khan's nephew Ozair Khan
Akhtar Begam went out of the way to get her only daughter the ownership of Wakf 99, including Plaza Market. She plotted to usurp the entire wakf property with the help a few local loyalists and deprived Irshad Ali Khan's rightful heirs as well as the poor and the downtrodden of their due right as the deed says. One also cannot rule out the role of the then Wakf Board's authorities in this "loot".

A thorough perusal of the deeds executed on different dates to grab Plaza Market bring into sharp focus the legal skulduggery adopted by Akhtar Baigum's loyalists to give an aura of legitimacy to this "loot".

It is interesting to note that six fictitious deeds were made. First, Mushtaque Ali gave a permanent lease of just nine katthas of Plaza Market to one Sharfuddin Khan on 3 July 1959, though the market stands on13 kotthas of land. The deed says that the trustee has no right to lease a wakf property on a permanent basis, nor can he sell it. Again, what makes the story all the more interesting is that the rest 4 kottha is sold to his second wife, son-in-law and the husband of his sister-in-law by the same person i.e Mushtaque Ali Khan on three different dates – first on 13.2.1974, second on 10.06.1974 and third on 15.06.1974.

Interestingly enough, Ozair Khan had inadvertantly presented all these false papers to the mediapersons in support of his claim which has to prove null and void in the court, said the trustee Khurram Khan.

Now the question arises whether Mushtaque Ali Khan, who was, by all accounts, a god-fearing man could ever indulge in such malpractices. Locals said that he was filled with remorse during his last days and was unhappy with his second wife for the chicanery and forgery she had adopted to usurp the wakf property for the sake of her daughter.

From CPI to RJD to JD (U), political turncoat Shakeel Ahmad Khan shakes hands with Nitish Kumar
It may be mentioned here that one Alauddin Khan of Bhadiya, who served as the manager of the market as well as the muscleman of Akhtar Begum invited God's wrath and consequently lost his three young sons and a son-in-law. They all died a premature death, but he learned no lesson from this setback and is still supporting an usurper in more ways than one.

Ozair Khan in his press statement claimed that Plaza Market was never a part of Wakf 99. Rather it was Mushtaque Ali Khan's own property, which he has purchased through a sale deed with the permission of the Sunni Wakf Board, Patna. Now the question arises what right the Wakf Board has to give permission to sell the property which it does not possess. Wakf Board, Patna, maintains that Plaza market has always been a Wakf property as its Register No. 26 shows because the property which is permitted to be sold by the board is deleted from the said register. Ozair's false claim to the ownership of the market was hurriedly countered by an advertisement given by the Chairman of Sunni Wakf Board, Patna, Md. Irshadullah on 30 August 2011. This role of Mr. Irshadullah was applauded by many people in the district

Ozair has hitherto been able to occupy Plaza Market with the help of his musclemen as well as overt or covert support of his maternal uncle, Shakeel Ahmad Khan, a powerful state Cabinet Minister in both the Laloo Yadav and Rabri Devi governments in Bihar, who is now called a turncoat in the political circles for having joined the JD (U) after the Laloo Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal was handed a humiliating and massive defeat by the electorate of Bihar.

[H. R. Ahmad is a Journalist based in Bihar. He is a Press Correspondent with Hindustan Times. He is also associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Bihar). He can be contacted at hafizruknuddin@gmail.com]

IMO EXCLUSIVE: Bihar Ex-Minister’s nephew out to grab Wakf property

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 September 2011 | Posted in , ,

By H.R. Ahmad

Gaya: The way the land-hungry people are occupying trust (wakf) land in Gaya district suggests that people have no fear for Almighty Allah. Those who donated thousands of acres of land in the name of Allah must have been God-fearing and pious and they did make a place for themselves in paradise by these philanthropic deeds. Their piey, if Allah willing, will pay off in the world beyond. But their progenies have failed to protect the wakf properties.

Jama Masjid, Gaya
Those who donated their property in the name of Allah also preferred to die unknown and unsung. Today, there are only a few people in Gaya who know that one Mir Abu Saleh had the grand Jama Masjid built at Sarai and donated a huge property worth crores of rupees for its maintainance. It has approximately 30 shops whose income comes at around Rs. 90,000 per month. It is spent on the maintainance of the mosque and the salary of its staff, said Aftab Noor, Secretary of Jama Masjid Gaya. Similarly, one Quazi Farzand Ahmad had madarsa Anwarul-Uloom built in the name of his only son, Quazi Anwar Ahmad, who had died in the prime of his youth.

But the biggest among all the donors was Babu Irshad Ali Khan of Bhadiya estate, who in 1918 donated 1000 acres of land including Irshad Manzil, now known as Plaza Market situated in the heart of Gaya town. The deed executed by Babu Irshad Ali Khan clearly says that 75 percent of the income has to be spent on the welfare of the poor, the downtrodden, widows, and orphans of the area and maintainance of madarsa and mosque and promotion of Islamic education in Bhadiya and its neghbourhood. The caretaker or mutawalli is free to spend the rest 25 percent on himself.

His son, Babu Mushtaque Ali Khan who happened to be its first caretaker sold a major part of the wakf property at a throwaway price for the sake of the girl whom her second wife had brought with her from Bhagalpur.

Interestingly enough, a few greedy and dishonest persons of Bhadiya and its surroundings not only bought valuable trust land in Sarma and Barachatti but also occupied wakf property. Recently, Ozair Khan, a close relative of Shakeel Ahmad Khan, who was energy and wakf minister in the Rabri Devi cabinet and also a minister in Laloo Yadav cabinet, staked his claim to Plaza Market also known as wakf No. 99. Shakeel Ahmad Khan has recently joined Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) in Bihar after dumping Laloo Prasad Yadav-led RJD. However, Wakf Board Chairman Mr. Irshadullah through an advertisement in an Urdu daily made it clear that Plaza Market is still a trust property and that the board has never permitted any caretaker to sell it.

Jama Masjid, Gaya
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court in its recent judgement has also ruled that any property once donated can neither be bought nor be sold. In this way, the sale or purchase of any trust land or property done even in the past today stands null and void in the light of the apex court judgement.

There is, however, a long list of zamindars who before and even after independance donated their fertile land for the upkeep and maintanance of mosques and madarsas as well as the welfare of the downtrodden of the district.

To look after the trust (wakf) land is the sole responsiblity of the Sunni Wakf Board, Patna, that appoints a caretaker as per the deeds of the donors. But, the Wakf Board has not all along been honest enough to serve as the custodian of the trust property. As a result, the usupers have made a mess of the trust land in the district.

The list would be incomplete if Bisrampure madarsa is left out. Nooruddin Haider Khan, the scion of Babu Raziuddin Haider Khan of Imamganj whose aunt, Mate-Bar Bibi had donated more than hundred acres of land at Bisrampure under Imamganj block, sold a major portion of the trust land at a throwaway price after seeking permission from the board as he said and added that he spent the money on the maintainance of Bisrampure madarsa and mosque. But the locals say that the money was pocketed by Mr. Khan.

What is wort-mentioning is that there were only two madarsas in the district, including Anwaru-Uloom and Bisrampure that not only fed the students but also provided them everything. Anwarul-uloom is somehow running with public endowment but Bisrampure madarsa is in a shambles and on the verge of closure.

Land mafia has now set their eye on these valuable lands which, as S. Ahmad a senior journalist said, must be protected at all costs by the board. It is also the responsibility of the entire Muslim community to stand up against the mafia and protect the trust property.

[H. R. Ahmad is a Journalist based in Bihar. He is a Press Correspondent with Hindustan Times. He is also associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Bihar). He can be contacted at hafizruknuddin@gmail.com]

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