Uttarakhand Waqf Board to demolish illegal structures on its land

The Uttarakhand Waqf Board will soon demolish illegal structures on its properties across the state, said its new president Shadab Shams on Sunday.

Shams was elected unopposed as the president of the 10-member board on September 7. Shams says Waqf properties worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore across Uttarakhand are illegally occupied.

The board will move a proposal at its meeting on September 15 for buying or hiring bulldozers needed to remove the illegal encroachments on the Waqf land all over state.

“Thousands of acres of Waqf land is illegally occupied in different parts of the state. We want to free our properties from the clutches of the mafia to make them useful for people they are really meant for,” Shams told PTI.

Illegal occupants are being served notices and the crackdown will begin anytime next week, he said.

“The action will begin with Prem Nagar in Dehradun, where 14 bighas of Wakf land is occupied by Muslims from Aligarh, who came here years ago to work in factories in the Selaqui area and built their houses there. Around 200 families reside on such lands,” he said.

“Who knows who they are. They may be people with dubious antecedents. Uttarakhand is not a dharamshala,” Shams said.

The Waqf Board wants to give the land for progressive activities like developing shelter homes for the needy, coaching institutes and skill development centres for the the youth, he said.

The Waqf board has also big plans for restructuring the syllabus of its madrassas, cutting down on the hours of mugging religious texts and allocating them to the teaching of NCERT books, Shams said.

“Uttarakhand Board syllabus will be introduced in about 103 madrassas being run by the Waqf Board and NCERT books will be taught there,” he said.

“We want modern education to be imparted to children at the madrassas as in any other school. We will create a system in our madrassas where only two hours will be allocated for teaching the Quran and the Hadees to students. The rest of the hours will be dedicated to teaching other subjects as in any other school,” he said.

“Why shouldn’t students produced by Madrassas also become doctors and engineers. I want Muslims in the country to follow the example of former president APJ Abdul Kalam and become progressive nationalists rather than fanatics,” he said.

The board also has plans to install CCTV cameras in madrassas to maintain a record of activities there.
“We want total transparency in our activities,” Shams said.

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