Collectors, police and revenue officials have been asked to help Wakf Board in implementing various GOs pertaining to protection of the property, says Special Officer

Things can look up for the beleaguered State Wakf Board in the new year. Mohd. Iqbal, who has taken over as its Special Officer, plans to cleanse the Aegean stables in a different way. A police officer basically, he would like to take the bull by the horn. “In the line of duty I have faced many touch situations and I will not hesitate to protect the Wakf property at all costs”, he says.

On a different level, Mr. Iqbal also wants to strike the fear of Almighty among the encroachers. He is peeved that most of the Wakf property gets encroached with the active involvement of Muslims themselves. “How can Muslims grab Wakf land the ownership of which vests in the God. Will their acts of virtue find acceptance with God”, he asks.

Interacting with presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Iqbal expressed surprise that many GOs (59, 374, 6) pertaining to protection of Wakf property have remained unimplemented. Over the years several eviction notices were issued, but they were pending with the RDOs. “Without the cooperation of the revenue authorities and police, the Wakf lands cannot be freed from encroachers”, he said.

Imprisonment

The newly amended section 52(A) of The Wakf Act, 1995, provided for rigorous imprisonment of two years for those alienating or purchasing Wakf property without prior sanction of the Wakf Board. The government can also reverse decisions taken by the Board if found to be against Wakf interest, he said.

Mr. Iqbal has dashed off letters to all district Collectors drawing their attention to the existing GOs and the need to implement them. As per GO 374 a task force committee should be constituted with district Collector, Superintendent of Police, Municipal Commissioner and others for protection of Wakf lands in the State. “But so far there is no headway in this regard”, Mr. Iqbal regretted.

He also expressed dismay at the reluctance of banks in opening zero balance accounts for minorities to avail bankable schemes of A.P. State Minorities Finance Corporation. He wanted the district Collectors to take interest in this regard.

Government had plans to set up a working women’s hostel, 12 residential schools, 10 pre-matric and 20 post-matric schools for minorities. For all these lands had to be identified, Mr. Iqbal said and sought the cooperation of the district administration.

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