Intense campaign on to free Waqf properties from mafia: Naqvi

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The government has initiated an “intense campaign” to free Waqf properties that have been grabbed by “Waqf mafias” in several states, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday.

Chairing the 74th meeting of Central Waqf Council here, Naqvi said that the central government has taken serious notes of complaints regarding mafias grabbing Waqf properties in some states in connivance with officials of state Waqf boards.

Besides the central government directing the state Waqf boards to get online registration of all the Waqf properties by the year-end, he said a “Board of Adjudication” will be established soon at the central level for deciding on complaints relating to Waqf properties.

“Encroachment of Waqf properties will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against encroachers no matter how much powerful they are,” said the minister adding that a high-level inquiry has been going on in this connection and soon strict legal action will be taken against the perpetrators.

There are 31 state Waqf boards with more than 4,27,000 registered Waqf properties across the country. There are many non-registered Waqf properties as well.

While the Minority Affairs Ministry has provided financial assistance to the state Waqf boards for online registration of their properties, Naqvi said “some of the states lacked “seriousness” in implementing the directive.

He said the one-man Board of Adjudication will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or retired High Court Chief Justice. He also said that tribunals will also be set up in more states.

Currently, three-member tribunals are being established in 15-16 states.

Naqvi also said that his ministry, in cooperation with the state governments, will construct schools, colleges, malls, hospitals, skill development centres etc and revenue generated will be utilised for educational and other developmental activities for the Muslim community.

“Multi-purpose community centres ‘Sadbhav Mandap’ will also be constructed on Waqf land which will be utilised for marriage ceremonies, exhibitions and also as relief centres during a calamity,” he added.

–IANS

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