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Waqf properties: different governments, different attitudes

The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah has directed the Deputy Commissioners to recover encroached properties belonging to the state Waqf. He has also told the officials to survey waqf properties and report to the government soon.

– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

Unlike the Central government that has issued notices to take over 123 waqf properties in Delhi, the Karnataka state government has issued advisory to recover the waqf properties from illegal occupants and restore them to the state waqf board.

It is to be noted that on the basis of recommendation of a two-member committee on denotified Waqf properties, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs decided to assume control of 123 properties owned by the Delhi Waqf Board, including mosques, dargahs, and graveyards. A notice is served to the Jama Masjid opposite the Parliament in the national capital too. Amanatullah Khan, the board’s chairman, had received a letter from the Ministry notifying him about the decision.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. Siddaramaiah directing the Deputy Commissioners to recover encroached properties belonging to the state Waqf

On the other hand, the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah has directed the Deputy Commissioners to recover encroached properties belonging to the state Waqf. He has also told the officials to survey waqf properties and report to the government soon.

Chairing a meeting of the district magistrates and chief executive officers of zila panchayats in Vidhana Soudha, the Chief Minister said the cases pertaining to 400 waqf properties pending before the divisional commissioners shall be settled expeditiously.

Land for graveyards
The Chief Minister also directed the officials to allot suitable government lands for burial grounds and cremation centres wherever they have been sought across the state. If the government land is not available, the CM advised the officials to obtain private lands to meet the requirements. Mr. Siddaramaiah emphasized the officials to complete this task in three months whereupon a review meeting will be conducted, he added.

The Karnataka State Housing and Minority Affairs Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan addressing Waqf officials

Waqf adalats
Later the state housing and minority affairs minister Zameer Ahmed Khan said that district-level waqf adalats would be held across the state. Chairing a meeting of officials in the Waqf Board in Bangalore, the minister said a separate meeting relating to Waqf Department would be held in districts during his visits in order to resolve the issues.

There is a thinking of undertaking commercial activities of waqf properties by the Board instead of developing it in joint ventures, the minister added. He also disclosed formulation of a plan to build hospitals and schools on the Waqf land in talukas. Clarifying the issue related to recovery, the minister said 65 encroachments in Bangalore city limits have been removed and their Khatas have been made recently.

There are 47,362 waqf properties spread over 31 districts in Karnataka, highest being in Kalburgi 5,814 and 338, the lowest in Chamrajnagar district as per the state waqf board records released in the meeting. Karnataka stands fourth at all India level while Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 1,66,855 properties followed by West Bengal, 80,480 and Tamil Nadu 53,486, as per the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.

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