Maharashtra: Wakf report may spell trouble for Cong, NCP

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2015 00:26 IST

Some leaders of the erstwhile Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra may soon be in hot water. The Wakf Commission report, on the alleged irregularities in the sale and transfer of land donated by Muslims, is set to be presented to the chief minister in the next two days.

The government is expected to table the report in the assembly, announcing action against the leaders found involved.

The commission has recommended criminal action against those involved in land grabbing and illegal deals.

Eknath Khadse, the minorities development minister, said in the assembly on Thursday that of the total 1 lakh acres belonging to the Wakf board, around 70,000 acres is encroached upon. He said tracts of land have been grabbed through misappropriation and misuse of power, which must be freed immediately.

An official of the rank of additional collector will be appointed to free the land from the clutches of encroachers in various districts. The money generated from commercial exploitation of these plots will be used for the welfare of the Muslim community.

“If required, we will not hesitate to amend the existing laws for action against culprits and for the restoration of the encroached land,” he said.

The minister said the government had studied the report of the commission, appointed to inquire into the land grabbing and suggest measures to safeguard Wakf properties.

The previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had sat on the report for more than three years, after the ATAK Shaikh commission submitted it to the then minority development minister, Arif Naseem Khan in 2011.

It did not table the report, despite announcing it would and despite continuous demands by the Opposition.

According to sources in the minority development department, the commission has prepared an action to be taken report that will be tabled along with the plan of action.

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