Waqf Facts

Armed with Recommendations from Ministers, Legislators, People Throng Telangana State Waqf Board for Lease of Properties at Pittance

The Waqf Boards across the country are milking cows for people with vested interests, the mafia, and politicians of all hues. The chairmen and members of the boards are mostly politicians and mutavallis affiliated to the political party ruling the state. The Waqf properties are encroached and usurped without any accountability. Many properties are occupied by different state governments and the Central Government too. Recently, the central Government laid claim to 123 properties in New Delhi with the helpless Delhi Waqf Board doing hardly anything except some rants. There is a mad rush to destroy Waqf properties in Telangana State too. The Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) ordered the locking of the Waqf Records Room some years ago.

Perhaps the intent of KCR was to take over the Waqf properties and facilitate the taking over of Waqf properties by the leaders of the ruling party. Many encroachments have taken place since KCR became the chief minister in 2014. The KCR Government contested the issue of hundreds of acres of land belonging to Dargah Hadhrat Hussain Shah Wali even though when not in power KCR had promised to get the lands restored to the Waqf Board. After coming to power, KCR made a U-turn to snatch the precious land worth more than Rs.5,000 Crores through courts. KCR made sure that the Waqf Board did not produce the land documents in the Supreme Court by locking the record room and transferring an active officer dealing with the court case. The matter was raised many times in the Legislative Assembly by KCR’s friendly party All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Floor Leader Akbaruddin Owaisi but to no avail. Former deputy chief executive officer Dr. Mohammed Safiullah had tried hard to get the Record Room opened permanently but he was sent back to his parent organization unceremoniously.

In the Telangana Waqf Board, properties are allegedly given on long leases for a pittance without following the due process of law. Recently, 1500 square yards of land was given on lease to a Madrasa, after a recommendation from a minister, showing utter disregard to the procedure. The court canceled the lease. Undeterred, the people running the Madrasa approached the Waqf Board with a fresh plea and a minister’s recommendation to lease 2,000 square yards land near the ramp of the Dargah Hadhrat Baba Sharfuddin Sohrawardi at Pahadi Shareef in Hyderabad. The board officials expressed their inability to process the lease and told the people that the Waqf Board members will meet on 4th April 2023. The Waqf Board can take a decision in the meeting. The unrelenting persons tried to pressurize the board officials saying that they will ask the minister to phone the concerned officials for a lease.

For the past few months, the in-charge Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shahnawaz Qasim, IPS, and some Waqf Board members were at loggerheads. Meetings were not held due to this confrontation. In the meeting to be held on 4th April 2023, the decisions taken in the board would be placed for approval. This will be the first meeting since Khaja Moinuddin took charge of the Waqf Board recently. The Chief Minister KCR had announced a CB-CID inquiry into the affairs of the Waqf Board more than a year ago. Nothing seems to be moving on that front. Is the big fish involved?

The proceedings of the 4th April 2023 meeting and the decisions approved must be video recorded for transparency. The decisions taken must be subject to judicial scrutiny to see if proper procedures are followed in awarding leases of the Waqf properties. Surely, the annual rent of the prime properties of 2,000 square yards cannot be Rs.10,000 (Rupees Ten Thousand) only. The rents should be according to market value and per month. The Telangana High Court should direct Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to unlock the Record Rom of the Waqf Board and fully digitize the property records in the presence of a retired judge of the High court.

Armed with Recommendations from Ministers, Legislators, People Throng Telangana State Waqf Board for Lease of Properties at Pittance

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