UP CM Yogi Adityanath is known for taking much awaited and tough decisions at the right moment. He knows that some decisions if not taken at the right time, then their purpose becomes futile. Evidently, the Waqf Act exercised unchecked powers and started encroaching lands in the garb of religious properties. For a long time, it crept slowly and covertly, to go on to become the third largest land ownership holder in India.
However, the blatant usurping of entire villages of Tamil Nadu have highlighted this unchecked tentacle of Waqf Boards and Waqf Act. Following his Zero-tolerance policy against law breakers and anti-social elements, UP CM is all set to put a leash on the growing menace of Wakf boards.
UP government to end Illegal Waqf encroachments and land grabbing Properties
The illegal claims of Waqf board on entire villages of Tamil Nadu have united the entire nation against the illegal activities of Waqf Boards. Now, many appalling cases of land grabbing by different Waqf boards are tumbling out from the closet. In fact, it is alleged that the Waqf board are shamelessly usurping lands that are dedicated to honour the freedom fighters. As per media reports, the Waqf Board made an audacious claim on a public park that is dedicated to Chandrashekhar Azad.
The recent developments suggest that the UP government is all set to recover all the government and public properties from the illegal occupation or claim of Wakf boards. The Minority Welfare Department has issued a categorical order to commissioners and District Magistrates of all districts in the state. As per the order, they will seek details of all illegally encroached properties in their respective regions. Further, they will have to submit their detailed reports within a stipulated time period of one month.
This is a major strategic shift that will end the pathetic policy of appeasement politics. With this, the Yogi administration has thrown the previous government’s order in the dustbin. As the previous state administration had passed an order in 1989 that allowed transfer of those public properties to the Waqf Board that were left barren or were being used by a shrine, qabristan or an Eidgah.
As per the National Waqf Management System of India, the waqf boards have accumulated more than 6 lakh waqf properties that spread over 6 lakh acres of land across India. In UP alone, it is estimated that the Sunni waqf board holds claims over 1.5 lakh properties while Sunni waqf board holds claims over 12,000 properties.
Earlier, the controversial Waqf act was challenged in the courts. A PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the existence of such laws. The petitioner claimed that there is no need for such acts in a secular country like India.
Survey of Madrassas
Earlier, the UP government had ordered a survey of all unrecognised private madrassas operating in the state. As per the order dated 31st of August, the survey teams have to finish survey of all such madrassas by 15th of October. After that, they will have to submit their report to the state government within 10 days. Currently, around 16,000 private madrassas are active in the state including the notable Darul Uloom Deoband Madrassas. The survey teams are authorised to gather information on the financial sources and basic facilities of their institutions. As per media reports, it is an operation on shoddy madrassas fanning hatred in lieu of money from illicit sources. It will also help to motivate these madrassas to have a reformist approach and impart mainstream ideas among the Muslim youth.
The survey of Waqf property will help recover illegally occupied lands and help the state government to utilise its resources and monetise it for the welfare of its citizens and stifling of appeasement politics forever. The Yogi government has a tremendous track record of punishing the law breakers and anti-social elements. Further, using the Gangster Act it has freed up more than properties worth 662 crore rupees from the clutches of hardened criminals in just a short time period of three months.
This will provide clarity of the deep-rooted systemic rot and help the state government in finding out the correct measure to wipe out this menace for once and for all. It seems that this time waqf has eaten more than what it can chew and it will have to pay dearly for its illegalities.
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