Hami accuses Wakf of ‘loot’

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Srinagar: Accusing Jammu Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board of failing to live up to the expectations of common and downtrodden people, religious organization Karwan-i-Islami Monday said that it is high time Board be freed from all political dispensations and be allowed to work independently. 

The organization said that successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir did nothing to rejuvenate and restore the glory of the Board.  

 While addressing a press conference here in summer capital Srinagar, Karwan-i-Islami patron Muwlana Ghulam Rasool Hami said that the undue political interference has damaged the sanctity of the Wakaf and due to this it has failed to deliver the goods. “Wakf Board has always danced on the tunes of ruling political parties. Unfortunately, every ruling party has used this Board for its own interests. “In fact asset rich Wakf has failed on all fronts, be it upgrading the education sector, renovation of shrines and mosques, helping destitute and creating infrastructure. This Board has been deteriorating every passing day and it will continue to decline till it is not freed from political net,” Hami said. 

  He said that there are around 1300 employees in the Wakf Board and out of them 90 per cent are illiterates and most of them have been occupying posts in the Waqf on the behest of their political affiliations. He said it is really sorry to state that people get employment in the Waqf on political considerations and not of religious merit. 

 “Recently a post of Chief Controller was created where a 65 year old Block President of a mainstream party was adjusted without any prior notice or information to the general public. You are a loser in the Wakf if you lack political connections. Only those employees thrive who appease political parties,” Hami said adding that instead of providing jobs to the educated unemployed youth, retired employees are adjusted for petty political considerations.

 Mawlana Ghulam Rasool Hami according to CNS said that there is no accountability in the Wakf Board. “The irony is that tenants care a fig for the Wakf and frequently bring changes in Waqf property. Ninety per cent of the Wakf shops have been sublet causing losses worth crores to the Board annually. Not only tenants sublet their shops but bring changes in the waqf property on their own without any permission,” had he said.

He said that Waqf presently has 1628 shops, 1384 rooms, 20 godowns, 35 showrooms and 50 big halls and under a well designed conspiracy are being “usurped” by the vested interests.

He alleged that Waqf property is being looted by the mafia and no action is being initiated against them.

 “Gardens measuring all but 2500 kanals lye with Wakf and it has control over 6840 kanals of orest land, which if utilized properly can generate an income of Rs 100 crores  within a period of five years,” he said.

Hami said a timber mafia has been grabbing huge money from the woods of Waqf forest land while as there was still Rs 1.7 crore outstanding with the forest department from past 8 years. “Contracts of woods and property are given to the blue eyed persons without floating tenders,” he said.

 He said a major chunk of Wakf land has been grabbed by the mafia and property worth crores have been occupied illegally by vested interest elements.

 “Wakf should take lessons from Boards and Trusts of other religions. Vishnu Devi Board has created multiple assets including multi specialty hospital in Jammu and Sai Baba Charitable Trust bears the medical expenditure of Rs 4.5 crore of patients only,” he said.

 Hami alleged that donations made by devotees are being looted in broad day light. “Devotees offer crores in shrines and and Wakf controlled mosques. Due to lack of accountability nobody knows where the money goes. Ninety per cent of the rice offered by devotees at shrines goes missing and only 10 per cent reaches to the Wakf godowns,” he said.

 Hami demanded that CCTV cameras should be installed at all shrines and record of every penny should be put online for the transparency. “I had presented a video footage as an evidence to the Wakf in which members were seen looting the shrines income at the time of counting, but nothing happened, no accountably has been brought so far,” he said.

There are 150 religious institutes registered in the documents being run by the Wakf Board and huge money is being spent on the salary of the faculty, but there are not more than a dozen such institutes running on the ground.

He said that records of the wakf properties have been stolen and people have managed to transfer ownership right in their name. “The Wakf properties have been occupied by some people at various places including Gojibagh and Misuma and waqf has been watching all this as a mute spectator,” he said.

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