IT IS one decision that sure is to come as a bolt from the blue for the Congress MLA from Bhopal North Arif Aqueel. The Waqf Board Administrator has decided in principle to direct Amir Aqueel, the brother of the Congress MLA, to deposit rent at the rate of Rs 25,000 per month for a patch of land allotted by his brother (Arif) when he was the minister in the Digvijay Singh Government.
This apart, hundreds of his supporters living in Arif Nagar locality will have to pay rent to the Waqf at rate of 5 paisa per square foot per month. Both the properties belong to the Waqf board and the board is not getting any month for some 70 beegha land it owns. Now, the Shahi Auquaf will manage affairs of Arif Nagar, considered to be a pocket borough of the Congress leader.
Waqf Board Administrator Omar Farooqu Khattani is likely to issue order in this regard in a couple of days and ask the residents of Arif Nagar and the owner of Sahara Education Society to pay rent with immediate effect.
The Waqf Board had allotted 25,000 square feet land in April 2001 to the Arif’s brother-run Sahara Education Society by passing a resolution. Arif’ was the minister and the member of the Waqf Board then. This 25,000 square feet land was allotted in Arif Nagar at the token money of Re 1.
The present administrator is likely to order soon the implementation of board’s resolutions, which were passed during Arif Aqueel’s tenure. While his brother was allotted land by a resolution of April 2001, the resolution for collecting 5 paisa per square foot per month was passed by the Waqf Board at its October 2003 meeting. As both these resolutions were never implemented, the board is not getting a penny from the huge property.
When he was the Minister for Backward Class and Minorities, he was said to have decisions that caused loss to the board. Even the audit objection that formed the basis of the dissolution of board on July 13, 2005, confirmed many irregularities during his tenure as minister.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Administrator Khattani said notices for recovery of rent from the residents of Arif Nagar and from Sahara Education Society are likely to be issued soon.
“Taking into consideration the financial condition of residents of Arif Nagar we have decided only to charge 5 paise per square foot from them as decided by the board in 2003.
Now Shahi Auquaf will look after the management of Arif Nagar instead of present management committee,” he said. Khattani said that in case of Amir’s society, the board has decided to charge Re 1 per sq foot per month.
Both the decisions would be implemented with immediate effect, he maintained. When contacted, Amir Aqueel expressed ignorance about such development. “I have no idea about this,” he added.
The Congress MLA is said have known about the proposed decision and learnt to have contacted higher authorities to correct the ‘injustice’ meted out to poor people. Attempts to contact him did not materialise.