Govt Seeks Details Of Shia Wakf Properties In J&K

File Photo Of Imam Bargah of Budgam

Community Leaders Enraged, Warn Govt Against 'Interference'

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir administration has directed all the Deputy Commissioners to submit details of Wakf properties belonging to the Shia community across the Union Territory, much to the chagrin of the community leaders.

The order—a copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer, issued by the Auqaf Affairs Department has directed all DCs of Jammu and Kashmir to furnish revenue extracts for declaration and notification of Shia Wakf Properties.

“The Central Wakf Act, 1995 is in force extended to J&K, wherein the J&K Wakf Board has been constituted, in which your kind attention is invited towards the instructions issued by the Chairperson of the J&K Wakf Board during a meeting held on 28.03.2022 & adopted a resolution thereof regarding the subject cited above,” reads the order issued by the Special Officer Auqaf, early this month.

The order further says that the meeting resolved that all the Deputy Commissioners be requested to direct revenue filed agencies to furnish all the relevant revenue documents of Shia Wakf properties as per the format.

“In this regard, all the Deputy Commissioners of their concerned jurisdiction are requested that the supervisory officers alongwith the revenue field agencies may kindly be directed to ensure that the information about Shia Wakf properties alongwith their extracts of Misli-Haqiyat, Jamabandi, Girdawari and Aksi Shajra Khasra of all the Wakf properties belonging to Shia may kindly be provide to this department so that the same could be notified by the Govt, as J&K Wakf property under the provisions of Central Wakf act, 1995,” the order further adds.

Accordingly, the district authorities have taken up the issue with revenue officials and sought details for the Auqaf Affairs Department

One such letter issued by Additional District Commissioner (ACR) Revenue, Budgam on Tuesday has demanded at least nine Tehsildars of the district to furnish revenue extracts for declaration and notification of Shia Wakf 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 Wakf Properties.

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] Wakf 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 Wakfs or the Wakf 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 Wakf 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 Wakf 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 Wakf 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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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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