The CBI has finally taken over the inquiry into alleged illegal sale and purchase of Shia waqf properties in Uttar Pradesh a few years ago. The CBI also registered two FIRs against the former head of the Shia Central Waqf Board Wasim Rizvi, who was allegedly involved in large-scale irregularities.
As per rule, Waqf properties can’t be sold or purchased.
The move follows after a petition in the Allahabad High Court by the advocate SFA Naqvi seeking directions to the Centre and UP government to finish the pending corruption probes against Shia and Sunni Waqf Boards and also to sack the twin Waqf bodies whose tenures are extended “illegally”.
The state government had ordered a CBI probe in October last year into the case. But the probe never began.
FIRs in the case were lodged at Hazratganj police station (Lucknow) on March 27, 2017, and another in Prayagraj registered on August 8, 2016.
When BJP came to power, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath dissolved the Shia Waqf board (and Sunni waqf board as well). Somehow Rizvi continued to be at the helm of the board and gradually became pro-BJP.
It was Rizvi, who wrote to PM in 2018 seeking closure of all madrassas in India claiming that they “prepare terrorists”. He made Shia Waqf Board a party in the Ram Janmbhoomi title case claiming that the land belongs to the Shia board, not the Sunni board which was fighting the case for decades.
He made a film on Ayodhya and often claimed that the deity Ram came in his dream.
Uttar Pradesh Minority Minister Mohsin Raza said, “Uttar Pradesh government will make sure that the culprits will end up in jail. The SP and BSP government in the past did not listen to the complaints of senior religious leaders and social workers, which led to a huge loss of government funds.”
Rizvi could not be reached for comments. Samajwadi Party leader Abhishek Mishra alleged that the CBI case against Rizvi was the fine example of BJP's use and throw policy.