Encroachments on Wakf Properties
Sir, I was much pained at the allegation leveled against the poor Muslims in the story titled “Most illegal occupants on waqf estates are Muslims” (Islamic Voice, August 2015). I refute it totally as it is the Government which is the single largest encroacher of Waqf properties in Karnataka. Wakf properties from “Thousands of acres” (to quote late C.M Hegde and Late Nazir sab) have whittled down to (if report in The Hindu recently is any indication) to only 1.22 lakh acres of which only 55,000 acres are in possession of the Board. Chairman Dr. Yousuff must show the guts to remove encroachers—be they common men or the Government agencies—from the Waqf lands. He will be remembered if he can do it. What is stopping him from the approaching the courts when such effective legislation is in place.
Here is the list of a few Government encroachments:
1- Hazrath Baba Budan Dargah (7,000 acres): Till date there is no case filed against the property or the institution as recognised in the records of the Government of Maharaja Wadiyar of Mysore. This is a violation of Supreme Court order in Syed Ali vs. AP Wakf Board where inams abolished had to be restored as waqfs follow the “once a Waqf are always a Wakf” principle.
2- Statutory survey has not been carried out in spite of two Wakf ministers, namely, Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan and Qamarul Islam writing to the DCs of Mysore, whereas as per rent register more than 500 acres have been encroached. 100 acres of prime land belonging to Raja Baksi Khan Dargah in H.D. Kote were acquired by the then CITB promising half the sites to Muslims. But after two years, residential sites were given away to the KSRTC bus station.
3- Periyapatna Bus stand : The then Wakf Minister gifted it away free for setting up a bus stand which came under his other portfolio i.e., Transport. Revenue documents have been altered without authority. Will the Waqf Board explain why P.P Act has not been used here? But the Board would not balk from evicting poor tenants?
Before I close, let me bring to notice of the readers that the Jama Masjid of Mysore on Irwin Road has been slapped with a notice to pay property tax to the tune of Rs. 33,66,183 by the Mysore Mahanagar Palike. How could this be when the Government has exempted the religious properties from Municipal taxes as per a Government notification dt. July 25, 1975.
I must praise Islamic Voice for it has survived even though I have not seen a single Government advertisement all through its 28-year tenure. Hats off to you!
Noor Mohammed, Yelwal village, Mysore dist.