Maharashtra State legislator and Samajwadi Party Maharashtra Chief
Abu Asim Azmi on Monday accused the state government of deceiving
the Muslims and demanded handing over of the Ismail Yusuf College
land to Muslims.
"You had promised in 1999 that the
Ismail Yusuf College land would be handed over to the Muslim
community. But till now this promise has not been fulfilled", Azmi
said while participating in a debate on the governor's address in
"Sir Mohd Yusuf had donated a huge
money to purchase this land so that a college of higher education
could be built for the community. This land should immediately be
handed over to the Muslims", he said.
Muslim community leaders are
demanding since more than two decades the land of Ismail Yusuf
College which is encroached and handed over to others.
The idea of a college for Muslims was mooted by Sir Mohammad Ismail Yusuf
who in January 1910 donated a whopping Rs. 0.8mn to then State of
Bombay with a condition to establish a college which should be
primarily for Muslims though, he said, students belonging to other
religious communities could also be given admissions.
began taking shape by March 1924 and the college, one among the
four affiliated to University of Mumbai by then, finally started
Till 1975 the college was the favourite institution
for Muslim students especially those from places like Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Malegaon, and also from countries like Afghanistan
However situation began slipping out of control later
on. First, due to the government’s negligence, encroachers and
slum dwellers illegally took whatever size of the land they could
in their possession. Later on, a considerable size bisecting the
land under the college control was used for the construction of
Western Express Highway.
If it was not enough, part of the
remaining land was granted by none other than the government
itself to a private society to establish what is known today as Arvind Gandbhir High School and also for constructing a housing
society. By the time the Muslims realised the losses the community
had incurred, the Ismail Yusuf campus which was originally spread
over 120 acres of land, shrunk to about 54 acres.
A stunned community knocked the government’s doors to get the land
clear of encroachments and to bring the campus under the control
of a Muslim trust. When repeated requests to the government proved
fruitless, lawsuits were also filed in court.
differences on who should get control of the campus surfaced
between Anjuman-e-Islam, a Pune based Muslim Trust and the one led
by some ex-students of the college. Due to the infighting between
the three groups neither the lawsuit pending in the court saw a
final verdict nor did the government care to take any decision to
resolve the issue.
However, it has now been transpired that unanimity has emerged
between the three groups. The Pune based trust has backtracked
from its claim and the group led by the ex-students of the college
also doesn’t have any objection if the control of the campus is
handed over to Anjuman-e-Islam.
The Anjuman along with Sir
Mohammed Yusuf Family Trust is already involved following a court
settlement in the
affairs of the college, though limited only to the admission
process. One of the largest Muslim NGOs, the Anjuman also has to its credit a successful record of running the
chain of reputed institutions under its control.
believe, if Ismail Yusuf College and the adjoining land are handed
over to the Anjuman, institutions of higher education can come up
in the campus which could then be used in more effective way for
the betterment of the people in general and Muslims in particular.