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Imams, Muazzins march to seek allowance

Imams demand salaryBhubaneswar : Thanks to the ever rising prices of necessary commodities, those who used to render voluntary services or be contented with what they were given as remuneration or salary, whatever you may call, now feel compelled to demand an amount as salary. This hard fact came to the fore when the Imams and Muazzins, who render most valuable faith-related service to the Muslim society, took to the streets here Thursday demanding monthly emolument.

Staging a demonstration near the State Assembly, hundreds of Imams and Muazzins called upon the Government to direct the Wakf Board to extend the emolument to them immediately.

Secretary of the All Orissa Masjid Imam Association Sk Asfaque Ali said the Supreme Court, in CWC 715/1993, had directed the State governments to provide a fixed monthly amount to the Imams and Mauzins through the Wakf Boards in 1993.

However, the order has not been acted upon even after 13 years. The emolument fixed for the senior officers in the ranks of Alim, Fazil and Mufti was Rs 1600 while it was Rs 1400 for a Hafiz.

And there are over 1200 Imams in mosques of the State. Ali said the Government had repeatedly expressed its commitment to ensure that the imams get the emolument.

Law Minister BB Harichandan had also stated on the floor of the Assembly last year that the Wakf Board has been directed to extend it.

But, it seems the Government is not supreme enough for the Board, he rued.