Hyderabad: Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Thursday assured the Telangana Legislative Council that the State Government would soon grant judicial powers to Wakf Board.
Replying to a question raised by Congress MLC Farooq Hussain during Question Hour, the Deputy CM admitted that over 77,000 acres of Wakf land in the State was under encroachment. He said that the State Government was taking steps to restore the encroached land. He claimed that there were no cases of encroachments since TRS Government took over.
The Deputy CM also assured that the compensation worth nearly Rs. 400 crore would be paid to the Wakf Board for the lands acquired for road expansion and other government projects. He said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has given nod to fill nearly 100 vacancies in State Wakf Board and the recruitment process would be initiated soon. Further, he assured that the Wakf Board would be given judicial powers as promised by the TRS in its election manifesto. He said Pattas issued for Masjid-e-Chunti Shah have been cancelled. He informed that the House Committee on Wakf Properties, constituted in late 1990s, had made 84 recommendations. Of them, 39 have been implemented, 10 partially implemented and 35 recommendations are yet to be implemented or under examination.
Not satisfied with the Deputy Chief Minister’s reply, Farooq Hussain alleged that the government was not serious on protecting Wakf properties. He demanded restoration of nearly 23,000 acres of Wakf land in Medak which has been encroached. He also asked the government to table complete report on Lanco Hills case.
TRS MLC Ramulu Naik demanded stern action against encroachers of Wakf land and said they should be booked under PD Act and rowdy sheets should be opened against them.
Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir accused the TRS Government of shielding encroachers. He asked the government to submit a detailed report on the actions taken by senior IPS officer Shaik Mohammed Iqbal against the erring Mutawallis during his tenure as Wakf Board Special Officer. He also alleged that former Minorities Welfare Director MJ Akbar was transferred from post for taking action against Mutawallis who were involved in irregularities. He said that the State Government was not allowing honest officers to do their duty.
Shabbir Ali demanded that 725 Acres out of open land belonging to Dargah Hussain Shah Wali be returned to Wakf Board immediately. He also slammed the Deputy CM for issuing pattas on land belonging to Chunti Shah Mosque in Malakpet. He said that mosque was almost adjacent to Deputy CM’s house.
The Congress members later staged a walkout from the House while accusing the government of not giving a satisfactory reply.
Later, Finance Minister Eatala Rajender informed that House that the State Government was ready to order probe into Wakf irregularities. He said that the previous Congress regime caused heavy damage to Wakf properties. He said Congress ruled the country for almost 45 years and it was in power in the State for over 40 years. He said several Wakf properties were lost due to the negligent attitude of previous Congress regimes. (INN)