Role of Atiq’s gang in grabbing Waqf properties under scanner
Besides acquiring plots belonging to other people at prime locations at gunpoint, Atiq and his gang have also been found grabbing public lands illegally and developing townships on them.
PRAYAGRAJ The role of Atiq Ahmed’s gang in grabbing several plots belonging to the Sunni Waqf Board is being investigated by the Uttar Pradesh Police. The development comes after the ongoing probe against his illegally-acquired wealth brought out some evidence indicating how the slain mafioso-turned-gangster usurped Waqf properties for commercial use.
It is alleged that Atiq and his gang members grabbed land meant for graveyards and sold it to people. Earlier complaints made in this connection are also being investigated, a senior police officer said. Investigations, so far, have indicated that Atiq had benami properties in Prayagraj, other cities of Uttar Pradesh, and even in other states worth hundreds of crores.
Besides acquiring plots belonging to other people at prime locations at gunpoint, Atiq and his gang have also been found grabbing public lands illegally and developing townships on them. According to a police officer, Atiq and his gang illegally acquired graveyard lands and Waqf buildings in Prayagraj and some other cities.
Another police official said that investigations, till now, have revealed that the plots meant for graveyards were illegally used for constructing houses. The plots of land and houses were illegally sold to people. In this regard, complaints have been received from many districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Prayagraj, Fatehpur, Kanpur, Kaushambi, and Lucknow, he said.
Many of the allegations have been found to be true during investigations, the official claimed. On the instructions of the government, joint teams of police and administrative officials have launched a confidential inquiry into the recent and earlier complaints, said officials. The details and documents of grabbed Waqf properties are being scanned and action may be initiated after the probe, they added.
Interestingly, an FIR was lodged against a close aide of Atiq for allegedly grabbing a Waqf property in the Chak locality on Zero Road in Prayagraj in 2016. However, after a protest by locals, construction on the property was stopped. Significantly, locals in Chakia allege that a portion of the graveyard adjacent to Atiq’s partially demolished office has been illegally grabbed by one of his relatives. The land is currently being used for selling construction material.