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Schools being run on Waqf land should pay rent

New Delhi: Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board, Amanatullah Khan said while talking to mediapersons on 16 June that schools built on Waqf Board lands should either give rent to the Waqf Board on circle rate basis or provide free education to 25 percent poor children otherwise vacate the waqf land. In that case (if schools vacate their buildings), Waqf Board will itself run and manage the schools. For the time being, Waqf Board Chairman has said this about Crescent School and New Horizon School and soon he will talk to Hera School and Anthony School managements also about the same conditions. Referring to New Horizon and Crescent School, he said that Crescent School has 2800 sq. yards and New Horizon School has six bighas of Waqf lands. He said that earlier these schools were paying rent at the rate of Re 1 per month and thereafter they were paying Rs. 1000 per annum rent. He further said that lease of New Horizon School had expired in March 2015, and that of Crescent School had expired in February 2015 and from this point of view these schools are now occupying Waqf lands illegally because after 2015 there has been no new agreement between them and Waqf Board (about extension or renewal of lease). He said that in letters to both the schools the board has instructed them to increase their rents in accordance with circle rate at the earliest or impart free education to 25% poor Muslim students. He said that according to circle rate Crescent School should pay about Rs. 11 lakh (per annum), but the board is demanding a rent of only Rs. 3,60,000 from it at the rate of Rs. 300 per student.

As regards New Horizon School, its rent at the circle rate comes to approximately Rs. 24 lakh but till date (authorities of) this school have not even talked to us. He said that in both these schools minimum fees of approximately Rs. 2.5 thousand and maximum of approximately Rs. 4 thousand per student are being charged and probably about Rs. 1800 (pm) are being charged separately for transport. He said that the board has asked both these schools to pay rent to Waqf Board according to circle rate or impart free education to 25 percent poor Muslim children and if they cannot do any of these things, they must vacate the premises immediately and for this, Waqf Board can use all its powers and rights. He said that it is a pity that both these schools are not in favour of giving rent to the Board according to circle rate or imparting free education to 25 percent poor Muslim children.

He said that today Waqf Board’s expenses are about Rs. 70 lakh whereas its income is about Rs. 80 lakh. He said that both these schools are spreading misunderstanding among the common people, propagating that Waqf Board wants to close down these schools, though these allegations are far from the truth.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2016 on page no. 15

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