By Manzar Imam
New Delhi: During the first co-ordination committee meeting as part of a joint campaign to save 123 Waqf properties, a 14-member committee was formed to fight the legal and political battle to save the waqf properties. The Committee, whose first meeting was convened by Anjuman-e-Haideri at Karbala, Jor Bagh in New Delhi on 6 March, would be headed by Lucknow-based noted Shia ‘aalim Maulana Dr Kalbe Jawad on whose behalf the meeting was convened. Adv. Mehmood Pracha was nominated legal advisor of the Committee, while Chaudary Shareef Ahmed, a member of Delhi Waqf Board (DWB), was named its convener.
Maulana Kalbe Jawad said that the objective of the meeting is “creation of unity”. He traced the origin of the dispute over Waqf properties to the British who had hatched the conspiracy to destroy the huge Waqf properties. Trustees must understand that “waqf properties belong to Allah” and it is our duty to protect them.
The 14-member committee comprises Dr I A Khan, Delhi state president of Social Democratic Party of India; Inam-ur- Rahman, assistant secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; Maulana Mohibbullah Nadwi, imam of Jama Masjid Parliament Street; Maulana Asad Khan Falahi, imam, Jama Masjid India Gate; Nayyar Ali Taqvi, Syed Asif Ali Zaidy; Shoaib Danish (Okhla), Syed Amjad Nizami of Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya; Bahadur Abbas Naqvi of Anjuman-e-Haideri, Maulana Mohammad Ahmad, and Dr Parvez Miyan.
Speaking on this occasion Adv. Pracha hit out at the Central and Delhi governments for violating the Waqf Act. He said that one third of Delhi is Waqf properties but they are being encroached upon due to mismanagement and poor handling of the Delhi Waqf Board, which is merely “a trustee and not the owner.” The Waqf law says “the objective of the waqif (settler) would be above all.” The Committee would meet the trustees of auqaf (plural of waqf), collect the documents and prepare a road-map for a movement to save the waqf properties.
Former MP Mohammad Adeeb held the Congress accountable for delaying the denotification of the Waqf properties. Chaudhary Ahmed asserted that nobody can take over these properties as even the Chairman cannot pass any order without it being confirmed and put on a bid by the Chief Executive Officer. He also informed that the Waqf land can no longer be given on lease. Participants exposed the lie that members had not appeared before the court and that no case was filed, because the facts speak otherwise. Abdus Salam, a mutawalli (trustee) of some auqaf at Minto Road, stated that these properties are there and we have submitted the report.
It should be noted that a letter, issued by the land and development office (L&DO), under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to DWB on 8 February, had informed of the decision to absolve it from all matters pertaining to the 123 Waqf properties. After news of the L&DO letter was published in the media, it led to spate of legal, political and verbal dispute, claims and counter-claims, and the matter is before the court to decide. At the end of the day, the loss is of the waqf properties, which the Committee aims to save. Whether or not it does so, only time will tell.