As reported by the DNA, the alleged involvement of illegal sale of land and transfer of prime Wakf properties had forced the Maharashtra State government to order criminal action to be taken against the former and serving members of Mahawakf (Maharastra State Board of Wakf).
The CEO of the board has been directed by the state minority development department to file FIR’s against seven people, including former Darul Uloom Deoband vice-chancellor Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi, former Congress legislator Jainuddin Zaveri, NCP MLC Abdullah Khan (Babajani) Durrani, former NCP leader Habib Fakih, former Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa chairman Asif Qureshi, ex-board member Sayyad Jamil Ahmed Janimiyan and former department official Ainul Attar, who was a government representative on the board.
Maharashtra has 93,418 acres Wakf land spread over 23,566 registered properties. 70 per cent of this, most of which are prime land, are under illegal occupation, encroached upon or transferred.
Shabbir Ansari, the president of Tehreeq-e-Awqaf, the one who complained about this to the state government in November 2017 said the Wakf land could be monetised to develop educational institutions and employment avenues.
Former Darul Uloom Deoband vice-chancellor Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi against whom the FIR mentions that he had possessed 32 acres and 23 gunthas of Wakf land at Bhingar in Ahmednagar on a 99-year lease since 2003 through an “illegal agreement”, called this decision ‘politically motivated’.
The state department while saying that “The above-mentioned serving/former members of the Wakf board have acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of these Wakfs,” added that their acts violated the provisions of the Wakf Act, 1995.