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Shia clerics at dispute over Shia college

AISPLB chairman and Shia cleric Jawad are heading for major confrontation, reports Masoodul Hasan.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 21:07 IST

The chairman All-India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar and prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad are heading for major confrontation over the prevailing situation in prestigious Shia College.

The immediate provocation was Jawad raising lleged prevailing irregularities in the institution at the annual board of trustees meeting of the college on December 17. However, the board president Kazim Zahir refuted Jawad’s charges. He said allegations were fall out of tussle between Shia clerics in Lucknow. 

While the tussle between the two factions of Ulema (clerics) has been going on for a long time, it had taken a turn for worse after the formation of AISPLB last year. The fresh row has thus sent a shock wave in the well-entrenched Shia community in Lucknow.  

Sources alleged even though Maulana Athar was just a member of the managing committee of board of trustees of the college, he had been ruling by proxy through the board president Kazim Zahir and secretary Akhtar Hasan Rizvi of Rizvi Builders of Mumbai.

Rizvi told Hindustan Times on phone on Tuesday from Mumbai that a three-member committee had been constituted to probe alleged irregularities in appointments and other issues. But Zahir said it was for the president to constitute the committee and no such action had been taken.

Zahir claimed all the appointments had been approved by the Lucknow University. Interestingly the Principal Shia Degree College MS Naqvi said that no committee had been constituted. Maulana Athar was not available for comment because of illness. But his son Yasoob Abbas said Jawad had been unnecessarily carrying on campaign against Shia College and his father.

According to information while board meeting was in progress at Shia Degree College campus, Jawad, who is also the member, arrived at the college with Syed Ammar Rizvi son of one of the founder members late Maulana Tahir Jarwali. Ammar distributed a pamphlet enumerating alleged bungling in the institution. Ammar alleged that there was rampant corruption in the college. However Zahir rebutted the charges. 

Addressing the meeting Jawad expressed concern over the prevailing situation in the institution. Jawad, while pointing out that old glorious traditions of the institution were being broken, proposed the name of Shozab Jarwali for one of the members. It is learnt that vice president Raja Amir Mohammad Khan Raja Mahmoodabad seconded the proposal. But Zahir said it was not taken up. Sensing the trouble the meeting was called off in a huff.

Zahir said Jawad had presumably attended the board meeting for the first time. He said in the past Misam Jarwali son of Tahir Jarwali was appointed as joint secretary but he had resigned. Misam Jarwali charging the board of being involved in rampant corruption said he was dislodged by dominant group. Maulana Athar and Misam Jarwali are at loggerheads in Lucknow. Earlier senior cleric Agha Roohi Abaqati was also removed from the board.

E-mail: mhasan@hindustantimes.com