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Mumbai Muslims stumped by BJP minister's googly on Ismail Yusuf College
Thursday February 26, 2015 1:12 PM, Staff Reporter

The Mumbai Muslim leaders had to face an awkward situation Wednesday when Eknath Khadse, Minister of Awkaf and Minority Development Department in Maharashtra, questioned their silence over the conduct of successive Congress government vis-à-vis the community issues in general and Ismail Yusuf College in particular.

Khadse with Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
[Eknath Khadse (Left) with Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in a file photo.]

According to a source present in Wednesday's meeting, the Muslim leaders could not reply to Khadse when he asked why they were silent when the Ismail Yusuf College land was being encroached over in the last so many years.

"The encroachments of Ismail Yusuf College land that you are talking of were all done when the Congress was ruling in Maharashtra. Why were you silent then?" Khadse was quoted as asking to the delegation of Muslim leaders who called on him in his Mantralay office in Mumbai.

"Khadse threw this question to the visiting Muslim delegation when Dr Zahir Kazi tried to put forth the details of Ismail Yusuf College. But, they could not respond to Khadse for over two minutes", he said while talking to

After a brief silence, the Muslim leaders, who were led by Haider Azam of the BJP Minority Cell, admitted that the Congress failed to resolve the issue despite their repeated pleas.

Khadse then assured his government's commitment on 'Sab Ka Saath, Sab ka vikas' and said no injustice will be done to anyone under his government.

"The BJP government is committed to bringing in the Muslim community in national mainstream", he said.

Recalling his association with the Ismail Yusuf College since 1970, Khadse said he has already directed the revenue department to collect all records pertaining to the ownership of Islamil Yusuf College and the adjoining land.

"Our aim is to free all Wakf properties from illegal possessions and effectively use them for empowerment of the Muslim community", Khadse, who had raised the issue in the state assembly as leader of opposition on various occasions, said.

The Muslim leaders had called on Eknath Khadse after the BJP government's decision to allot Ismail Yusuf College land to the National Law University. The government had also reportedly decided to convert the entire campus into an educational hub.

Following the strong opposition from the Muslim and non-Muslim NGOs and activists, the government withdrew its order, and directed the CIDCO to look for an alternate land in Navi Mumbai for the National Law University.

Muslims are demanding possession of this land since independence. Their demands became stronger when the state government, after violent protests by Dalits, announced to use Indu Mill compound to build a memorial for Dr. Ambedkar.

Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman Committee, constituted in 2008 by the Congress-NCP alliance government to look into socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in Maharashtra, had also supported the demand in its report.


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