Two families claim to be legal heirs of Mayan Kutty Elaya

The prospects of payment of compensation from the Saudi Arabia government for a demolished Bungalow built in Makkah in 1842 has triggered a feud between the members of the erstwhile royal Arakkal house of Kannur and the Keyi family of Thalassery, both claiming to be the legal heirs of Mayan Kutty Elaya who established the property in the Muslim holy city.

While representatives of the Keyi family staked the family’s claim as the legal inheritors of the demolished property, named Keyi Rubath, on the grounds the Mayan Kutty Elaya belonged to the Keyi family, one of the landed Muslim families of the Malabar region, their counterparts of the Arakkal House made the counter claim saying that the late Elaya had married a member of the family and had children and whose successors, according to them, were legally entitled to the compensation.

The wakf property was demolished in 1971 as part of the extension of the Haram (holy site) in Makkah.

The compensation amount is said to have been deposited in the Saudi Department of Auqaf. Opinion is divided over the extent of the compensation.

Muhammad Rafi Adiraja of the Arakkal House and A.P.M. Mayan Kutty, secretary of the Keyi Rubath Successors’ Association, said at a press conference here on Wednesday that the compensation amount deposited by the Saudi government in 1973 was 1.4 million Saudi Riyal. Claiming legal right to the property, they said Elaya had two children from his wife belonging to the Arakkal House. The legal heirs of Elaya had submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Saudi Embassy in India and the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia in this regard, they added.

Their reaction was in response to an earlier claim by members of the Keyi family that the latter were the actual inheritors of the property. M.K. Nasar and T.T.P. Abdul Azeez of the Keyi Rubath Hereditory Committee had claimed at a press meet earlier this month that Elaya had no children and, therefore, the members of the Arakkal family could not claim to be his legal heirs.

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