Vice-chairman to look into “illegal activities” of Telangana State Waqf Board

Hyderabad: National Minorities Commission vice-chairman Atif Rasheed on Sunday said he will take up serious action against encroachers of Waqf properties in Telangana. The NMC chief announced that he will suggest the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs to set up a special task force and enquiry committee to free all Waqf properties from “land mafia” and take action against the “illegal activities” going on in the Telangana State Waqf Board.

Addressing the reporters on Sunday, Rasheed said, “During my visit to Telangana, it was depressing to know that Telangana is the only state in the country where more than 3000 Waqf properties have illegally been encroached. If these are removed (encroachments), only in Telangana there will be over 5 lakh crore properties.”

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He said during his interaction with Waqf officials, he learnt that in the last five years the Telangana State Waqf Board has not generated any income nor has it taken any against the encroachers. “The NCM will demand the Centre to give judicial powers to the state Waqf Board and make Waqf CEO a permanent one. An enquiry commission will be set up by the Centre to inquire about the illegal activities in the Waqf. if needed a CBI inquiry will also be done,” said Atif.

Speaking about the role of the Union Minority Affairs with regard to Waqf properties, Atif said that GO mapping, GO tagging and digitalization of Waqf properties have been taken by the Centre. He also said that the state Waqf Board can identify the Waqf properties and give a proposal to the National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) for development purposes and minority residential schools can be built on these properties.

He also spoke about an allegation made against the Director of Telangana State Urdu Academy, “I would recommend the Telangana government to inquire about the matter and take necessary action against the culprits” said Atif.

When asked about the restoration of Ashurkhanas (Shia Muslim places of mourning) in the state, Atif said, “All the Telangana state Ashoorkhanas committee has given us the requirements and demands. We will surely take up the matter with the Centre and make sure all Ashurkhanas and heritage properties are safeguarded,” the NMC vice-chairman stated. 

He also said that the NMC will make sure that all Urdu medium schools are reopened and that the state government will manage all these Urdu schools and colleges. Rasheed further stated that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has sanctioned Rs. 800 Crores under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) scheme designed to address the development deficits of the identified Minority Concentration Areas. Also, Rs. 263 crores have already been released for Telangana .