TRS Govt forcibly taking over Wakf lands: Shabbir

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly opposed the decision of State Wakf Board to give wakf land on a long lease to State Government for the establishment of minority residential schools.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Friday, said that each Wakf property is governed by a ‘mansha’ (object) for which it was endowed. Therefore, those properties cannot be utilised for proposes other than the object mentioned in ‘mansha- e- wakf’.

Further, he said Wakf Board is only the custodian of Wakf properties and not the owner. Therefore, it is not empowered to utilise the properties as per its will. He said religious leaders, Mutawallis and other leaders of the community had strongly objected to the proposal and for the same reason, Board could not pass a resolution in four meetings held earlier.

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He also pointed out that only four members of the Board were present in the meeting held on Thursday. This was less than the required quorum and therefore, the decision stands invalid.

He asked as to why other members of the Board abstained from such a crucial meeting to decide on such an important matter. He said Board members were divided on the issue and they stayed away from the meeting to protect themselves from criticism in future.

Shabbir Ali said that it was the responsibility of the State Government to arrange land for residential Schools. just because they are for minorities, it cannot force the Wakf Board to give Wakf lands.

The Congress leader alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was unhappy with the Board for not giving land on lease for residential schools at eight places. CM KCR apparently wants 500 acres of wakf land for various purposes. According to sources, he said that the Chief Minister had threatened to dissolve the Wakf Board if it refuses to give the land.

He said it was the fear of losing posts that made Wakf Board chairman Mohd Saleem and three other members decide in favour of granting Wakf land on lease for residential Schools at eight places.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the Wakf Board withdraw its decision and restrain from taking any such decisions without consulting Mutawallis and other religious leaders. He also questioned the timing of this decision and said why the Board was in a hurry to decide on the lease when the entire State is in lockdown to fight Coronavirus.

He also pointed out that as the then Wakf Minister in previous Congress regime he had established minority residential schools at 13 places including Kamareddy, Zahirabad, Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy, Guntur and other districts of erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh on government lands and the entire cost of construction was borne by the government.

He warned TRS Government of serious consequences if it tries to take over Wakf properties through backdoor methods using blackmailing tactics.

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