More than 2,000 cases of encroachment of waqf properties have been filed over the past one-and-half years and strict action is being taken against the accused, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday.
The minister of state for minority affairs said the government will not spare those who have occupied waqf properties illegally.
“More than 2,000 criminal cases have been filed over the past one-and-half years. We want to free these properties from the clutches of mafias no matter how strong they are,” Naqvi told reporters here after the 76th meeting of the Central Waqf Council.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said most of the encroachment cases are a result of a “criminal conspiracy” between the waqf board and mafia. Some of the complaints have been forwarded to the CBI, he added.
The minister said the government wanted to ensure the properties are used for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities.
It is taking steps to digitise records of all the waqf boards and extending all support to state bodies in this connection, he said.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also said a one-man ‘board of adjudication’ has been set up at the central level under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to deal with complaints and disputes related to waqf properties.
Three-member tribunals are being formed in states. So far, about 21 states have set up these tribunals, he said.
There are about 5,12,556 registered and non-registered waqf properties across the country.
About Central Waqf Council : Central Wakf Council, India is an Indian statutory body established in 1964 by the Government of India under Wakf Act, 1954 (now a sub section the Wakf Act, 1995) for the purpose of advising it on matters pertaining to working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration of the Wakfs in the country. Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognized by Muslim Law, given by philanthropists. The grant is known as mushrut-ul-khidmat, while a person making such dedication is known as Wakf
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