BJP, Shiv Sena want protection of waqf properties

By staff reporter,

Mumbai: The BJP-Shiv Sena led opposition in Maharashtra yesterday demanded that encroachments of waqf properties be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and they should be reinstated to Muslims.

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The opposition leader in the state legislative assembly Ramdas Kadam raised the Waqf issue in the House and reportedly alleged that the former Congress chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh government and the then Waqf Board management were involved in illegal sale and transfer of Waqf properties worth more than Rs 1,000 crore.

He said that the parliamentary joint committee has sited many irregularities in the maintenance of Waqf properties during the tenure of Vilasrao Deshmukh which should be probed by CBI and cases be filed against the guilty ones.

Criticizing the state government’s attitude towards Muslims he said on one hand it has announced slew of schemes for the social, educational and economical development of Muslims as per the recommendations of Sachar Committee but on the other it has usurped the Waqf properties endowed by their ancestors with good intention.

Kadam expressed his concern that the committee headed by the retired judge J K T Shaikh which was set up by the state 22 months before to probe Waqf land encroachments still did not table its report.

The NCP MLA Bashir Musa Patel also supported the demand and said that the land sold to builders at throw away rates or occupied illegally be returned to Muslims.

The speaker Babasaheb Kupekar directed the state government to take notice in the issue.

It all happened on March 17 in the session of interim budget of state for 2009-10. The four-day budget session will end on March 19.