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Shia waqf board to take action against land grabbers

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh’s Shia Central Waqfs Board (UPSCWB) made public the names along with the photographs of people who have allegedly sold or purchased waqf properties across the state. The list of land grabbers includes politicians and influential businessmen. Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya tops the list. He has been charged for selling a waqf land in Meerut to Shalabh Seth, managing director of SabMiller, a beer company. There is a tract of 1000 bigha in Abdullahpur, in which 10 bigha is used by Mallya for his liquor factory while the board is trying to trace the remaining occupants of that land.

Kazim Ali Khan, an MLA from Rampur, who had been Congress legislator and joined BSP recently, was sacked by the board as a caretaker of Shia Husaini Sarai of  Rampur for selling articles of this Imambara and extorting money from tenants.

The board also sacked Athar Abbas Naqvi, younger brother of Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, from the post of caretaker (mutawalli) of a waqf property in Bareilly on graft charges. Naqvi was the caretaker of the graveyard ‘Chhoti Karbala aur Qabristan’ in Bareilly district. Allegedly, he indulged in extortion and using his elder brother’s name to force members of the Shia community to make illegal payments for allocation of space for burial in the graveyard. The board, which is custodian of all waqfs of the Shia community in the state, has dissolved the management committee of the graveyard.

Syed Waseem Rizvi, the chairman of UP Shia waqf board, said, “The board has initiated action against 350 persons for allegedly selling 130 plots of waqf land across the state. I have written to police superintendents of the concerned districts to lodge FIRs against them under relevant sections of the Waqf Act and asked the respective district magistrates to cancel the registries of the land.” Rizvi added that Mallya had evaded action earlier as the then SSP of Meerut had refused to lodge an FIR against him for illegally running his factory on waqf land.

Since Rizvi regained his position on 26 May, 2015 as the chairman of the board, he took some strong decisions like sacking prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad as a caretaker of Gurfranmaab Imambara. It turned into a duel between the two and later became a political issue involving the waqf minister Azam Khan.

It is to be noted that Rizvi is on the spree of removing corrupt caretakers of many mosques, Karbalas and Imambargahs and keeping a vigil on all unwarranted activities. He exposed the corruption and irregularities in the work of several mosques and Imambargahs of which Maulana Kalbe Jawad was the caretaker, which miffed the cleric and his followers. (Hasan Rizvi)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2016 on page no. 14

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