In an attempt to prevent clashes over encroachments on Waqf properties, the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan has decided to revoke their registration in the name of individuals and restore their original status.

This will be accompanied by steps to protect the Waqf properties and the reassessment of their value in order to get appropriate rent. The construction works for the conservation of Waqf properties will be launched with public participation.

Additional Chief Secretary (Minorities’ Affairs) G.S. Sandhu has issued detailed guidelines in this regard. Mr. Sandhu said the State government was serious about protecting the Waqf properties and serving the purpose for which the religious endowments were made.

A major clash between Gujjars and Meos took place at Gopalgarh in September 2011 over a piece of Waqf property, registered in the revenue records as a graveyard but claimed by the local residents as a public pond. Ten persons died in the fracas and the police firing that followed.

Mr. Sandhu directed the officers of his department to regularly inspect madrasas functioning in districts.

The issue of managing residential schools in the Mewat area also came up during Mr. Sandhu’s interaction with local officers. A suggestion was made to hand over the management of the schools to the Minorities’ Affairs Department, which could monitor academic activities and distribution of mid-day meals.

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