Srinagar- The administration in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday sought details of Waqf properties of the Shia community, much to the chagrin of the community leaders.
The order—a copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer, issued by the Additional District Commissioner (ACR) Revenue, Budgam has demanded at least nine Tehsildars of the district to furnish revenue extracts for declaration and notification of Shia Waqf Properties.
According to the order, Tehsildars from Budgam, Khansahib, Chadoora, Charar-e-Sharif, B.K.Pora, Narbal, Magam, Beerwa and Khag have been asked to furnish revenue extracts for declaration and notification of Shia Waqf Properties.
ACR Budgam has issued the letter on the basis of a communiqué received from Special Officer Auqaf J&K.”
Referring to the official order, ACR, Budgam has directed the notified Tehsildars to “provide the information of all the Waqf properties belonging to the Shia along with their revenue extracts of Misli Haqiyat, Jamabandies, Girdawari and Aksi Shajra so that same could be notified by the Govt, as Wakf property under the provisions of Central Wakf act, 1995.”
However, expressing his resentment to the order, prominent politician and Shia Association president Imran Raza Ansari said that the content of the letter clearly depicts that the administration is paving way for creation of a separate [Shia] Waqf Board.
“Otherwise, there was no need to furnish the details of properties. It seems that they’re stepping towards setting up a new board,” Imran told Kashmir Observer.
He further added, “The Waqfs or the Waqf properties that are currently in our control are in accordance with the Sharia. That means, these properties were acquired according to the fundamental rules of Islam. Unlike Sunni Waqf Board—where properties belong to the state— these properties were given to us or our organizations by an individual in the form of Hiba (Gift). These properties are those which have not been taken from the Government and don’t belong to the government. So, I don’t think that the government should intervene in these things.”
However, he hastened to add that if the Government wants us to furnish Wakf details, we’re more than happy to cooperate. “No one’s standing against transparency but the question is why they’re going to establish a Shia Waqf Board, it’s out of my understanding,” he added.
Endorsing Imran Ansari, another Shia leader and head of Anjuman Sharie Shiayan Aga Syed Hassan said that if the Government wants to take these properties, let them do that but not at the cost of hurting our religious sentiments.
“There have been several instances in recent months where it had come to our knowledge that few people, especially some retired officials from our community, had met government officials and falsely alleged that our association had been involved in some malpractices. This notice may have been issued in that regard. We’ve absolutely no problem cooperating with the administration in providing the details sought. However, I don’t think anyone should interfere in a religious matter without proper knowledge,” Aga Hassan told Kashmir Observer.
Our properties, Aga Hassan noted, are in the shape of ration, clothing and daily need items. So, there’s absolutely no question of hiding anything from anyone.
My only concern is that if the Government creates a new Waqf Board then that should be in accordance with the principles of our religion. We won’t entertain anyone who tries to fiddle with our religious practices. That’s completely unacceptable,” he asserted.
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