Mangalore centre will serve pilgrims from five districts

Minority Welfare, Haj, Wakf Minister Qamar-ul-Islam said the government proposed setting up five ‘Haj Ghars’ in the State, including one in Mangalore, to cater to those departing for the pilgrimage.

Though the Haj Ghar in the city has been in the pipeline for some time, Mr. Islam told presspersons here on Sunday that availability of land had delayed the project. There are two potential sites – one at Thokur-Jokatte and the other at Kunjar – he said, adding: “I will discuss the matter with the Deputy Commissioner and decide on it.”

The Haj Ghar here will serve pilgrims from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Kodagu and Hassan districts.

He said these houses will come up across the State so that no pilgrim will have to travel more than 250 km to reach one. Gulbarga, Hubli and Bangalore are other cities where the construction of Haj Ghars has started, he said.

“These will serve multiple purposes, including training programmes, examinations and for schemes conducted by the Minority Department,” said Mr. Islam.

The Minister dismissed the report brought out by Karnataka Minorities Commission ex-Chairman Anwar Manippady alleging misappropriations in Walk property by board members as “vindictive”, “false” and “politically motivated”.

Calling Tipu Sultan the “first martyr of Independence”, the Minister defended a proposal to name a new university in the State after the Mysore king. “Land has been identified for the university at Srirangapatna and at Mulbagilu. The final decision is yet to be taken,” he said.

His visit to the city included a public grievance meet at Circuit House, and a visit to Hazrath Syed Madan Dargah in Ullal, where he was felicitated by the Dargah board.