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Wakf Board records room shut for 2 yrs

Wakf Board records room shut for 2 yrs
Highlights

It has been almost 2-years since the record room of State Wakf Board has been sealed on one of the midnight hours in November 2017 and is being strongly guarded by police picket since then.

Nampally: It has been almost 2-years since the record room of State Wakf Board has been sealed on one of the midnight hours in November 2017 and is being strongly guarded by police picket since then. Even after Central Wakf Council's insistence to 'unseal' the record room 2-months back during a meeting at Haj House, steps are yet to be taken up.

The RTI activists who have been filing applications are unable to receive reply from the officials who cite prevailing conditions, where the record room containing thousands of records related to Wakf properties exist, but remain 'inaccessible', even for them. While on the other hand the position of Legal Officer which fell vacant following the arrest of incumbent in a fake NOC case in the beginning of the year also remained so, even as the cases at Wakf Tribunal piled up.

"Let alone the much-hyped claims of 'digitization', the existing documents remained inaccessible not even for the official purposes. The encroachers are having a freehand, as no counter claim is being filed by the Wakf Board and the counsels are being paid regularly," said Association of Save Waqf Properties, general secretary, Syed Ifteqar Hussaini.

Concerns over loss of records stem

Alleging that the 'toothless' Wakf Board with Board members, most of whose tenure has already completed, and the continuation of existing chairman Md Saleem being challenged in the High Court, the Wakf activist held that he feared that there was risk of tampering or damaging the records present inside the locked room.

"Following the formation of Telangana, huge swathes of land have been already encroached upon, one such instance is of 12-acre land at Mamidipally village (close to Shamshabad) with alleged involvement of ruling party's MLA. Just imagine, if all the records are damaged or lost forever," wondered Ifteqar.

2-months back CWC arm-twists State Wakf Board

It may be mentioned here that on July 1, the Central Wakf Council also expressed similar views during their meeting with State's Wakf Board. They demanded that the government immediately unseal the record room and constitute a new Board, as the current board's tenure has come to an end. They also demanded State government's standing on extent of State's Wakf properties, as they found variation (from earlier 77,000 to 40,000 acres after formation of TS).

"Hiding the true extent of land, besides sealing the record section gives a wrong message. We have been informed that powerful politicians were behind the encroachments and the way Wakf mafia operates in the city spokes volume about the political clout, " said TO Naushad, a Central Waqf Council member. Naushad alleged that under the current government the huge Waqf land parcels have already been encroached upon all over the State.

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