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'No Govt. perfidy against Muslims over Awkaf'
Assures Salman Khurshid, but Muslim leaders not convinced
Monday, June 07, 2010 10:09:58 AM, ummid.com Staff Reporter
Salman Khurshid: Muslim leaders accuse he is being used by the government for pushing anti-community legislations
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Malegaon: Strongly denouncing the reports that some of the clauses in the Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 could ultimately lead to the “confiscation of Muslim Awkaf”, Union Minister for Awkaf Salman Khurshid said that the bill would in fact strengthen the Awkaf and would play a pivotal role in eliminating their misuse.
“There are some “miscreant elements” trying to create confusion about the Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 – a historic step taken by the Congress-led UPA government for the safety and proper usage of Wakf lands, and in order to eradicate their misuse”, Salman Khurshid said while speaking to ummid.com on phone.
“We are taking unprecedented efforts not only to end misuse of the wakf lands but also to ensure that they are used for the benefits of Muslim community. This is why we decided to computerize the wakf, make the survey of wakf lands every 10 years and suggested stringent penal provisions to prevent encroachments and to streamline the process of their removal”, he added.
Salman Khurshid was reacting to the reports taking rounds in the Muslim community and taken by ummid.com on May 25 that said the government “through a bureaucratic move is trying to pass a legislation de-recognizing all Awkaf unless they are registered with the authorities”.
“All that we are trying to do with the Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 is, to encourage the registration of wakf lands. Once they are registered with the authorities, in case of dispute it would be easier for the court to take a decision”, he said.
On the possible impact of the bill on Babri Masjid case, the Minister said, “The fact is that as against the propaganda by few communal leaders, Babri Masjid and the wakf lands in questions are registered with the wakf board. Hence to say that the legislation would any way affect the case of Babri Masjid is far from realisation.”
He also ridiculed the reports that Congress had taken advantage of the thin attendance on Friday - when Muslim members of Parliament are normally absent for the Friday prayers - and in their absence rushed the bill through the Lok Sabha.
“It is true that we rushed the legislation through the Lok Sabha. However, to say that the legislation was deliberately presented on Friday when Muslim MPs were absent is totally baseless. It was the last day of the session, and since we strongly believed that the bill is beneficial, we wanted it to be passed without further delay”, he said.
“Moreover”, he added, “Quite a few numbers of Muslim MPs including Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi were present when the debate on the bill was on in the house. Moreover, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi took part in the debate before the passage of the bill”, he said.
Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi is the Congress MP from Kishanganj, Bihar whereas Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi is AUDF MP from Assam.
“Muslim leaders unconvinced”
Muslim leader, however, are not ready to buy Salman Khurshid’s assurances and are still sceptical of the benefits that the Union Minister of Awkaf is highlighting. Reiterating that the Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 is a blow to the safety of the Wakf lands, All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) in its special session in Aurangabad on June 06, conveyed to the government that the bill in its present form is not acceptable to them.
“The Wakf Amendment Bill 2010 has serious shortcomings and without the inclusion of the recommendations made by the Muslim Personal Law Board, it would not be acceptable to us”, observed the board meeting held in Aurangabad a day after the Union Minister for Awkaf Salman Khurshid allayed their fears about the bill while talking to ummid.com.
One of the many recommendations of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPB) is to consider all the wakf lands that were part of the wakf on or before August 15, 1947 - the day India became Independent.
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