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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

UP minister rejects claims on Taj Mahal

By Masood Hasan

The Milli Gazette Online

Lucknow: UP Minister for Waqf Shakir Ali called upon the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to issue a fatwa against encroachers occupying Waqf Boards’ properties for business purposes. The fatwa would help Waf Boards to save their properties from the looters and the encroachers, he said.

The controversy over Taj Mahal took a new turn as the UP minister for waqf described the monument of love as the pride of the nation assailing the contentions of the UP Central Sunni Waqf Board. The minister reiterated that the Taj Mahal is the symbol of love. He virtually rebuffed the Sunni Waqf Board for unnecessarily raking up the issue.

Surprisingly, he also said that he would not allow the Waqf Board to register Taj Mahal as a Waqf property. The minister told this correspondent that he did not agree with the contention of the Sunni Waqf Board on the Taj Mahal.

Lauding the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board for showing its concern over the encroachment on waqf properties by land mafias at its conference held in Bhopal, the minister made an impassioned appeal to the chairman of the All-India Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Syed Rabey Hasani Nadwi to come forward and save the waqf properties from encroachers. 

Shakir Ali told this correspondent that he would write a letter to the AIMPLB suggesting that it issue a fatwa against those who attempt to encroach on waqf properties. 

He has said that if the AIMPLB issues a fatwa, no one would dare to encroach on waqf properties and waqf land may be saved easily from the encroachment of the land mafias. Shakir Ali mooted an idea that the AIMPLB, an apex decision-making body of Muslims, should declare that any one who tries to occupy the waqf property is violating the tenets of Islam. The step of the AIMPLB would create awareness among Muslims he said, adding that the active role of the Law Board is the need of the hour. He claimed that he is determined to amend the Waqf Board Act of 1995 by bringing a Bill in the state assembly or through an ordinance.

Dissatisfied with the working of the UP Sunni and Shia waqf boards, the minister somehow lauded the efforts of the Shia Waqf Board in its style of functioning.

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