By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 4: The State Wakf Board has lost about 100 acres of prime land with lower rung officials in districts issuing no objection certificates to encroachers claiming the Wakf property as their own.
The value of the Wakf land is put at Rs 50 crore. The Wakf properties have been registered in individual names against the Central Wakf Act and the AP Wakf Rules. The sub-registrars okayed the registrations based on the NOCs issued by local inspector-auditor of Wakf.
According to Wakf sources, inspector-auditor of Prakasam district issued NOC to Dr M Venkataramana Maharshi who in turn sold away prime Wakf properties in Pernamitta village of Santanutalapadu mandal. The market value of land in the village is Rs 54 lakh per acre.
The Ashoorkhana in Ongole has landed property extending to 81.80 acres under survey Nos. 159, 164, 192 and 4. The property has been recorded as that of Wakf in the State Gazette.
Maharshi claimed that his mother had purchased the Wakf land without knowing that it belonged to the Wakf Board. He sought exemption but the district registrar refused to register the land. He then approached the local inspector-auditor of Wakf, who issued a no objection certificate, based on which the registrar went ahead with the registration of the land.
In East Godavari district too, prime Wakf land extending more than 10 acres was sold away after the local Wakf official issued NOC to an encroacher. Reports of illegal sale of Wakf properties have also come in from Krishna, Ranga Reddy, Nizamabad, Medak and other districts.
When contacted Wakf Board chief executive officer Madar Saheb said they had called for a report on NOCs and they would take action against the guilty officials. "We have suspended the inspector-auditor of Prakasam district and ordered an inquiry," he said adding that only the Wakf Board has the right to issue such certificates.
In the absence of a fullfledged Board, officials are calling the shot in districts. The Board which had a bank balance of about Rs 30 crore in 2004 is now left with nothing in the coffers. The Board is not even in a position to pay salaries to the staff.
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