Hyderabad: Minister Koppula Eshwar cancels extension given to Dargahs contractors

SC Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar
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SC Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar 

Highlights

Minister for Minorities Welfare Koppula Eshwar intervened and overturned the decision of the Waqf Board favouring Dargah contractors, who wanted an extension for at least a couple of months, to compensate for the losses during lockdown

Hyderabad: Minister for Minorities Welfare Koppula Eshwar intervened and overturned the decision of the Waqf Board favouring Dargah contractors, who wanted an extension for at least a couple of months, to compensate for the losses during lockdown.

The Minister reviewed the decision taken during the recent Wakf Board meeting and struck it down. According to sources, the Minister had ordered to halt proceedings after the matter was brought to his notice within a couple of days following passage of resolution along with other decisions during a Board meeting recently.

Some of the Board members pushed the idea despite the fact that the decision was against the Wakf Act. "Since the decision was against the interests of Wakf Board and in violation of the Act, the Minister asked the Chairman and officials to hold back the decision," sources informed. The contractors of two Dargahs who placed a request for 'extension of the term of contract' and were successful before the decision was countered by Minister include Dargah Hazrath Mohiuddin Shah (Janpak Shaheed), Suryapet and Dargah Hazrath Jahangir Peeran at Shadnagar, which are considered to be amongst the top lucrative places in terms of earnings, as thousands of devotees visit. It may be mentioned here that last year in the same month, a Hyderabad based contractor won the bid for Dargah Hazrath Jahangir Peeran for Rs 2.36 crore (in 2018 it was Rs 1.36 crore). A few months later, the contract for Hazrath Janpak Shaheed Dargah was given away for Rs 1.70 crore triggering resentment from activists who blamed the TS Wakf Board for encouraging this trend which deviates from the very purpose (Mansha-e-Wakf) for which the property had become part of the Wakf.

On Thursday, some of the activists also submitted a representation to the Minister requesting him to 'prevent' this kind of decisions in the best interests of the Board. President of All India Sunny Ulama Board Moulana Syed Hamid Hussain Shuttari, Wakf Properties Protection Cell, president, Nayeemullah Shareef and Association's general secretary, Syed Ifteqar Hussaini called on the Minister and requested necessary action in the matter as per the Wakf Act.

"We brought to his notice the resolution passed by the Board regarding different Dargahs. Despite speculative damages clearly mentioned in the contract, the decision was taken for an extension. It is absolutely illegal and against the Wakf Act. Members of the Wakf Board are taking a personal interest in the matter, hence Minister should order inquiry," they said.

Despite the decision by the Minister, the Board members who are lobbying in favour of Contracts are said to be awaiting an opportunity to push their agenda. "Board's Chairman is under immense pressure from them and he toes the line of contractors," the sources added.

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