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Corruption in AP Waqf Board
|Hundreds of well-wishers and benefactors of Ummah had endowed their properties worth billions of rupees for the welfare and development of Muslim nation years ago but the beneficiaries today are not the needy members of the Umma but some ones else.
Ever since 1956 Waqf Board of Andhra Pradesh has always been a bone of contention. It is difficult to blame any one as to who are those who are appropriating the benefits or incomes of the Board. Misappropriation of Waqf properties and incomes is going on as usual. Building and construction works on graveyard and other Waqf lands are matters of almost daily routine.
If some one occupies Waqf land or property and if the Waqf Board intervenes, he is immediately made a tenant after which he becomes owner of the Waqf property. If someone has illegally occupied any Waqf property and becomes a tenant but if effort is made because of some legal complications to dispossess him, he can very well obtain a stay order from a court. After obtaining the stay order in consultation with a staff member of the Waqf, the illegal occupant can peacefully occupy the land or property and do any thing he likes for decades. He can carry on any kind of business or build a house or can do anything else.
If income from any ‘dargah’ is fifty lakh rupees, this income should, truly speaking, be used or spent for the same dargah but that income is used for some other purposes like building repair or extension of Board’s offices. There are several committees for the protection and safety of Waqf properties whose meetings are also held frequently. Many people regularly issue statements about the destruction, occupation or misuse of Auqaf properties. The president of Waqf Board also undertakes tours and makes surprise visits also along with his officers but in spite of all these things the chain of destruction or illegal occupation of waqf properties goes on as usual. I am giving herebelow some examples:
All the graves in the Gole Naka graveyard have been flattened and motor workshops have been set up there. Two Muslim graveyards in Opal Kalam have been illegally occupied. The graveyard of Jumarat Bazar has been converted into a camel shed.
Construction of houses illegally is going on in the graveyard adjacent to the ‘dargah’ of Hazrat Brahana Saheb. The building of Dargah Sharif Qadir Bagh is in a dilapidated state and may fall down any time. The rent of the government school has not been paid to the Dargah management for seventeen years. According to the Waqf Board gazette, it is the trustee of hundreds of properties also which have by now been destroyed.
In addition to the above, amounts have not been paid for: granting living allowances to widows, old and infirm people; scholarships to poor and needy girl and boy students from the Waqf income in districts; grant of living allowances to poor and divorced women or girls in the light of the judgement in Shah Bano case; establishment and maintenance of institutions for teaching of Urdu; financial or other assistance for running Arabic madrasahs; grant of scholarships to poor Muslim boy and girl students desirous of pursuing higher studies; grants for high schools in places where income from dargahs is equal to or more than twenty lakh rupees; setting up computer centres for girls and other steps through which educational sense and awakening among Muslim youth can be developed. Also, no steps have been taken for transferring Auqaf properties to Arabic madrasahs. No orders have been issued for vacation of Waqf properties in Secunderabad and Hyderabad where occupants are paying monthly rents ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 50 or increase in rent. No survey of mosques and dargahs in the state has been undertaken and therefore no list of such mosques or dargahs has been prepared.
These are the steps which should be taken before taking any steps for advanced studies. But it is a pity that the Waqf Board has decided to set up medical colleges and engineering colleges. By such a decision it is in fact trying to put the cart before the horse. What is needed is that basic or elementary education should be promoted first in order to strengthen the foundation.
The Board has never declared its annual income and expenditure. It is also not known whether its accounts are maintained at all and whether these are audited or not. The Waqf Board is in any case an enigma which neither one can explain properly nor one can understand properly. Hence it should better be left to itself. People should themselves take care of mosques, and religious madrasahs in their own locality and mohallah. We have nothing to do with it. When the Waqf Board is not concerned with the welfare and means of livelihood of Muslims, we should have nothing to do with it.
(Translated from Urdu)
¯ Malik Mohammad Ali Khan