Under the umbrella of Shikshan Hakka Manch, an educational NGO, several social workers, ulemas and some advocates have decided to intensify their demand by holding a demonstration at the collector’s office on January 18.
Currently, the Wakf Board office and the tribunal court are located in Aurangabad and petitioners from the western districts of Pune, Sangli, Satara, Wai and Kolhapur have to proceed to Aurangabad for every hearing. Community members contend that the setting up of a Wakf Board in the city will speed up hearing of Wakf property related cases.
“There are several Wakf properties, which are encroached upon by builders and land sharks in the city and Pune district. There are several cases which are still pending at the Aurangabad Wakf Board Tribunal Court, and at every hearing, petitioners have to go there and stand before the court, which is strenuous and time consuming,” said Matin Mujawar of Shikshan Hakka Manch.
He further added that they have decided to submit a memorandum to the district collector on January 18, and would be demanding that the office of the Wakf Board for western Maharashtra and a tribunal court should be established in Pune.
Advocate S M Pathan, who was on the Board of Directors of the Maharashtra Wakf Board said that some officer bearers, officials of the Wakf boards and some politicians do not want the court and the office to be set up in the city.
“We have decided to intensify our demand for the office and tribunal court, and for that we will mobilise the community to take part in the demonstration on January 18,” said Pathan.
He also alleged that the board is full of irregularities and there are people in the board who are actually helping land mafias and builders grab properties of the Wakf Board. “The Board was set up to safeguard Wakf properties across the country, but it seems that the motive of the board is to help land grabbers,” Pathan said.
Meanwhile, Mujawar said that in Maharashtra, the total land under the Wakf Board was around 80,000 acres, and out of these, 60,000 acres has been encroached upon by land mafias with the help of the officer bearers of the Board and the politicians. He also demanded that the government should allocate Rs 1,000 crore to the Board to ensure smooth functioning.