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Mumbai: Muslims launch drive to reclaim Waqf properties across Maharashtra

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10:21 AM IST

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Mumbai: The Muslim community has risen to reclaim its properties and lands which belong to Waqf by launching a ‘Tehreek e Awqaf’ movement on Tuesday. The president of All India Muslim OBC (Other Backward Class) Organisation Shabbir Ahmed Ansari launched this movement with an aim to restore all the properties in Maharashtra that belong to the Muslim community as per the Waqf Act of 1995.

Waqf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognised by Muslim Law, given by people who seek to promote the welfare of others mainly by the generous donation of money to good causes.

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The members of this movement will conduct a survey to identify places like kabristans (burial grounds), mosques and durgahs that are part of Waqf properties. They will also aim to recover the illegally occupied Waqf properties after Independence and demand the due amount of rent from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or the state government who are using such properties.

Ansari said, “There are a lot of Waqf properties that are used by state authorities and civic bodies without any notification to the Waqf board. Our first step will be to identify such properties in terms of land, real estate, heritage and religious structures, get the documents in place and claim our due share. These properties are our piece of land given to us by our ancestors so we have the right to claim it.”

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The members alleged that the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) office at Aurangabad is constructed on the land that belongs to the Waqf board. Also, the Ismail Yusuf College at Jogeshwari east is another such property which is managed by the state government without any notification given to the Waqf board. An ad hoc Committee of 11 members has been formed to investigate such matters; district committees will be formed soon.

Mujtaba Farooq, a senior member of this movement, said, “The market value of Maharashtra’s Waqf properties is around Rs. 4.5 lakh crore. If put to efficient and marketable use then they can generate a minimum return of 10 per cent, which is about Rs. 45,000 crore per annum. Thus, there is an immediate need to identify and claim such properties.”

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Published on: Wednesday, December 28, 2016, 10:03 AM IST