Former BJP minister grabbed land donated for a temple: Nawab Malik
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik on Friday alleged that a minister in the previous BJP-led state government in Maharashtra grabbed acres of land that had been donated to a temple. He said that he would disclose the name and other details in the coming days.
On Thursday, Malik said that NCP is planning to soon meet Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Mumbai demanding to expedite the pending inquiries against some of the political leaders who are in BJP now. Though Malik did not name any of the leaders, he said one of them is a union minister and another a former state minister, indicating at Narayan Rane and Kripashankar Singh. Cases were lodged against them when they were in the Congress a few years ago.
Talking about the raids on Wakf related properties by the ED, Malik said on Friday that the ED should support the clean-up drive undertaken by his department for the Waqf properties. “I want to expose all those people who have grabbed lands donated for religious institutions such as masjid, dargah and temples. I want all these people behind bars,” he told reporters.
On Thursday, ED conducted raids at seven places in Pune and one place in Aurangabad in connection with the Pune Waqf Board land scam case after an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) was registered by ED. The FIR stated that the trust, which is registered with the Waqf Board, owns eight hectares in Maan village of Mulshi taluka. The government was scheduled to give compensation of ₹9.64 crore to the trust and accordingly released ₹7.7 crore. The trust later complained to the Waqf – the Muslim charity board – that it had not received any compensation from the state. During an inquiry by the deputy collector (land acquisition), it was revealed that Shaikh and Mulani had submitted fake documents to claim the money. Following a complaint, Shaikh and Mulani were arrested.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Haji Arfat Shaikh alleged that Nawab Malik illegally elevated peons in the minority affairs department as officers and leased out Waqf properties illegally. Arfat said that the decision was taken without having a majority in the Waqf Board for such decisions. He also alleged that the minister did the appointments of the officers in the Waqf Board without consulting the chief minister or the state cabinet.
Refuting the allegations, Fadnavis accused Malik of buying property from persons linked with the underworld, and an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.