Ban tainted Mutawallis from contesting Wakf Board elections: Congress

Hyderabad, December 15: The Congress party on Thursday demanded that the Telangana Government impose a ban on tainted Mutawallis (caretakers of Wakf properties) from contesting Wakf Board elections. 

Led by Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee (GHCC) Minorities Department chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, a delegation of Congress leaders on Thursday called on Hyderabad District Collector and Election Officer Rahul Bojja and submitted a memorandum requesting him to bar tainted Mutawallis from Wakf Board elections. The delegation comprised of TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin, ex-Corporators Mohammed Ghouse and Meraj Mohammed and other leaders. 

Two members from among the Mutawallis category will be elected to the State Wakf Board for which polling is scheduled to be held on January 10, 2017. They will be among six members from four different categories who will be elected through direct election. 

“Several high-profile Mutawallis or caretakers of premium Wakf institutions have been accused of misappropriation of Wakf lands. Many of them were found guilty or accused of selling away Wakf properties worth several crores. They are also accused of tampering with the official records, forgery and embezzlement of huge amounts. Serious criminal cases were also booked against a few Mutawallis in the recent past. Now such people are trying hard to gain entry into the Wakf Board as members,” Abdullah Sohail said in his memorandum. 

Abdullah Sohail said that some individuals like Akbar Nizamuddin, who was facing almost 22 cases, including criminal cases registered by the Central Crime Station, too were likely contenders for the post of Wakf Board member. “None of them have faced trial to get a clean chit from the courts. Instead, they either challenged the jurisdiction of the investigating officer or even the Wakf Board to get away with the illegal actions. Since Wakf institutions are of high religious importance, we request you to kindly ensure that tainted Mutawallis and those facing serious allegations of misuse of Wakf properties or institutions are barred from contesting the Wakf Board elections,” he demanded. 

The Congress leader said that Mutawallis with clean image with no cases pending against them should be declared eligible to contest the elections for Members of Wakf Board. He feared that if tainted Mutawallis are elected to the Wakf Board, then they might misuse their influence and position to cause further damage to the Wakf institutions across the Telangana. 

The Congress leaders also submitted a copy of the memorandum to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and Minorities Welfare Department Secretary Syed Omer Jaleel.