Board urged to hold Jamat elections

MANGALORE, MARCH 3. The central committee of the Muslim Jamat of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts has urged the Wakf Board to resolve disputes within Jamats and conduct democratic elections to those Jamats taken over by it for this reason.

At a meeting of its representatives held here on Wednesday, the committee thanked the State Government for appointing its President, K.S. Mohammed Masood, Chairman of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission. The committee, in a series of resolutions adopted at the meeting, urged the Wakf Board to provide monthly grants to meet expenses of the mosques registered with it and those which did not have definite sources of income. It urged the Government to consider allotment of revenue land for construction of mosques, madrasas, and graveyards free of cost.

Noting that Muslim students in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts pursuing professional courses were not receiving scholarships despite a Wakf Council scheme for the purpose, the committee said arrangements must be made to disburse the same in the local Board offices in these districts. It urged the Government to introduce Arabic as optional language in all schools and colleges on par with a similar system in Kerala and provide grants to all primary and high schools started by Muslims.

Urging the Government to set up a Beary Language Academy, the committee demanded that the Government provide reservation in all areas to this linguistic minority. Expressing concern over repeated attacks on Muslims in the two districts by communal forces, the committee urged the Government to deal with such forces adequately and give protection to the community.

The Government should revoke the cases filed against "innocent'' Muslims during communal clashes. The Minorities Development Corporation should provide interest-free loans to unemployed youth, widows, and divorcees.

The committee demanded that the historic tombs of Shakarganj Baba Mukkham in Kadri area of Mangalore and the Muslim graveyard on Old Kent Road here be handed over to the administrative control of Dakshina Kannada District Wakf Committee. It demanded time for Muslim students to offer mass prayers on Fridays. The authorities concerned should ratify the birth, death, and marriage records maintained by Jamats recognised by the Wakf Board as official.