Graveyard sold to pvt builder: Muslim body

Members of the Muslim community in the city have formed the Wakf Milkiyat Bachav Committee (committee for protection of Wakf properties) to raise their voice against alleged illegal possession by a private builder of more than three acres of land where a mosque and graveyard are located in New Nana Peth.

Caught in a land row: The Roshan mosque and Dulha Dulhan graveyard in New Nana Peth

Committee member Iqbal Ansari has alleged a scam of Rs 200 crore regarding the land in the heart of the city. The matter came to light after four buildings came up under an SRA scheme, giving community members a rude shock as they realised they would not be able to offer prayers to their ancestors buried in Dulha Dulhan graveyard since the land had been sold to a private builder. 

Members of the community claimed that the builder purchased the land for development under the slum rehabilitation scheme in 2008. The members claimed that the land where the mosque stands can neither be sold nor purchased as it is Wakf Board property.

The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), which sanctioned the project, has claimed that 14 people who were the owners of the land had the right to sell it to the builder for redevelopment.

Now, the committee members have come together to protect the land, where Roshan Masjid and Dulha Dulhan graveyard are located.

The graveyard and the mosque are located on Survey Numbers 1038 and 1039 of New Nana Peth, while the Jigyasa Tarun Mandal slums are situated on Survey Numbers 1040 and1041.

According to the newly formed committee, the land admeasuring 3 acres and 13 gunthas was given by Nanasaheb Peshwa to Sufi saint Fakir Sadique Shah Wald Pirshah in 1750 for offering prayers and for a graveyard.

The land was registered as Class III Devasthan Inam in 1878. In 2002, 14 Wahivatdars (managers) of the mosque and graveyard and the adjoining slums made a development agreement with Asif Hanif Khan, Sayeed Tahir Abdul Latif and Zarina Nasir Khan of the Golden Construction Company, Promoters and Builders, and gave the power of attorney to develop only Survey Numbers 1040 and 1041. The Wakf Milkiyat Bachav Committee says the power of attorney was not for Survey Numbers 1038 and 1039, where the mosque and graveyard are located.

In 2008, Golden Construction Company’s Asif Khan allegedly sold the property to his company Golden Construction. The committee has taken objection to this sale deed and claimed that since the land belongs to Class III Devasthan, which means gifted land for religious purpose, it can neither be sold nor purchased.

The committee has 11 members. One of the committee members, Ahmed Younus Sayyed, filed a case in the Wakf tribunal court at Aurangabad in March and another committee member, Iqbal Ansari, has filed a case in the Wakf Board, Aurangabad. The case will be heard today.

SRA Assistant Engineer K T Shelar claimed that the four buildings have been constructed on private land. “The property card of this land shows that those who sold the land to the private construction company were owners of the land,” Shelar said.

Refuting the claims of the SRA official, 64-year-old Ibrahim Ismail Shaikh, who is one of the Wahivatdars, claimed that he and the other 13 Wahivatdars of the land have no right to sell the land as it is Wakf property. 

Assurance by minister
Promising to take up the matter with the CEO of the Wakf Board, Minister of Aukaf and Minority Development Mohammed Arif (Naseem) Khan said he would initiate appropriate action immediately.

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