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Dr. Sofia Begum: first woman to get Waqf Board seat

Hyderabad: Telangana State Waqf Board was constituted by the state government on Thursday with 11 members, giving a seat to a woman for the first time. The move was followed by the recent amendments to the Waqf Act 1995; the Centre has incorporated a provision to nominate two woman members on the Board. However, the government selected only Dr Sofia Begum, standing counsel of the Waqf Board.

The Telangana Government on Thursday nominated five members to pave the way for the formation of Telangana State Waqf Board. With the appointment of five more members on Thursday, the Telangana State Waqf Board is deemed constituted and it would come into formal existence after the members elect the new chairman which is likely to happen next week. Mr. Saleem, TRS MLC, is likely to be elected as chairman.

While Malik Motasim Khan has been nominated under the category of ‘Eminent Muslim’, Dr. Syed Nisar Hussain (Hyder Aga) was appointed in the category of ‘Shia Scholar. Advocate Waheed Ahmed has been appointed in the category of ‘Sunni Scholar’; IPS officer Tafseer Iqbal is the Government Nominee and Dr. Sofia Begum has been appointed as woman member.

After the formation of Telangana state, a separate Waqf Board was created in September 2015, which was being run under the competent authority. Some persons approached Hyderabad High Court seeking elections to the Board and the court directed the government to hold elections and nominate members by February 24 and constitute it.

The government held the elections for members of elected category in January. Six members in various categories were elected as the members of TS Waqf Board. They are: Asaduddin Owaisi (MP); Mohammed Saleem and Mohammed Moazzam Khan (Members of State Legislature); M. Zakeer Hussain Javid (Member of Bar Council); Mirza Anwar Baig (Managing Committee) and Syed Akbar Nizamuddin Hussaini (Mutawalli).

The election was followed by nominations of five members on Thursday.