New Delhi, 20 Sept, 2016:My press release during 74th meeting of Central Waqf Council in New Delhi:

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that serious complaints have been received in relation with “waqf mafias” grabbing waqf properties in some states in connivance with officials of state waqf boards.

While chairing the 74th meeting of Central Waqf Council here, Shri Naqvi said that a high-level inquiry has been going on in this connection and soon strict legal action will be taken against those responsible in this illegal act.

Shri Naqvi said that a campaign on war-footing has been started by the Central Government to free the waqf properties from the clutches of "waqf mafias" across the country so that waqf properties can be used for welfare of the Muslim community and their socio-economic-educational empowerment.

Shri Naqvi said that encroachment of waqf properties will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against encroachers no matter how much powerful they are.

Shri Naqvi said that after taking charge of the Minority Affairs Ministry, one of the steps taken by me includes protection and development of waqf properties. Several state governments have been cooperating well in this regard. There are 31 state waqf boards and more than 4,27,000 registered waqf properties across the country. Besides this, there are many non-registered waqf properties. Several waqf properties in some states are in clutches of "waqf mafias".

Shri Naqvi directed all the state waqf boards that all the waqf properties be registered on-line by this year-end.

Shri Naqvi said that the Central Government has directed all the state waqf boards to register the waqf properites online and their information should be available in a transparent manner. The Minority Affairs Ministry has also provided financial assistance to state waqf boards for the purpose.

Shri Naqvi said that several states have been working very well in this regard but some states are not showing seriousness in online registration of waqf properties.

Shri Naqvi said that to deal with complaints regarding waqf properties, one-man “Board of Adjudication” will be established soon at the Centre level which will be headed by a retired Supreme Court Justice or retired High Court Chief Justice. Three-member tribunals are being established in the states. About 15-16 states have established these tribunals. Other states should also do this soon.

Shri Naqvi said that the Minority Affairs Ministry, in cooperation with the state governments, will construct schools, colleges, malls, hospitals, skill development centres etc and revenue generated will be utilized for educational and other developmental activities for the Muslim community. Multi-purpose community centres "Sadbhav Mandap" will also be constructed on waqf land which will be utilized for marriage ceremonies, exhibitions and also relief centres during a calamity.