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UP minister directs Ghaziabad officials to file FIR against waqf land encroachers

By Peeyush Khandelwal, Ghaziabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2020 10:30 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh waqf minister Mohsin Raza Tuesday said he has directed Ghaziabad officials to register an FIR against those who have encroached on waqf land in Ghaziabad. This came after an inquiry by the district minority welfare officer brought the encroachment to the fore.

The minister said his government has already recommended to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) an inquiry on all waqf land in the state.

Raza said he had come across the inquiry report sent by Amrita Singh, district minority welfare officer, Ghaziabad, and have come to know about large-scale encroachment of waqf land by private persons.

“The encroached properties could be running into hundreds of crores of rupees and some people who may have done this have connections to a minister and one of them is relative of a former UP minister. The minister is presently in jail and facing several FIRs. I reiterate that no one will be spared. The inquiry report by the official had indicated that large portions of different land have been sold by these suspects,” Raza said.

“We have directed the Ghaziabad officials to lodge an FIR and also to ensure personal safety of Singh. No one will be allowed to take liberties and threaten any officer/official. Strict action will be taken. The large-scale encroachment of waqf land has also been reported from other parts of the state. The chief minister, on October 12, 2019, had recommended a CBI inquiry into these alleged encroachments. Once the CBI takes up the case, many will face legal consequences and they will include senior officials and politicians,” he claimed.

According to officials, Ghaziabad district has about 718 Waqf properties and about 80%-90% of these are encroached upon or under dispute.

Singh said, “The encroachment of waqf land came to the fore after the personal property of a resident was also sold along with waqf land. The alleged seller(s) already face several FIRs in previous cases and I have sent a communication to SSP, Ghaziabad, for lodging one more FIR. Several persons had come to my office and threatened me. I have also asked for police protection.”

Singh also holds the charge of two other districts — Gautam Budh Nagar and Bulandshahr under Meerut division — and four other districts of Aligarh division.

Under Islamic law, a waqf is an inalienable charitable endowment for religious or humanitarian activities. The land classified as waqf cannot be sold nor they can be leased out without the permission of the state board.

The officials said as per a government order in April 2018, waqf properties have been allowed to have colleges, madrasas, libraries, community halls, over head tanks or potable water schemes.

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