Charar-i-Sharief residents up in arms against Waqf land grabbers

SRINAGAR — Residents of Fresdub in Charar-i-Sharif block of central Kashmir’s Budgam district are aghast over what they allege is the illegal occupation of Waqf land by a group of people, who have illegally taken over the said property.

A group of people from Fresdub told the news agency KDC that one of the childless residents of the village namely Ghulam Ahmed Wagay alias Ahmed, who lived austere ascetic life had willingly donated his 10 kanals of land in the village to J&K Waqf Board years before under Khasra No. 2487 and 2485, for which necessary formalities were done and the land was transferred in the name of Board in the Revenue records.

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The group said, “Once the land was registered in the name of Waqf Board, it was developed by investing Board resources, money and labour, till it became highly productive property worth lacs; however after the death of donor Ghulam Ahmed Wagay, a group of five locals from a family of Fresdub fraudulently usurped the said property, through corruption.”

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They said, “Once the illegal act was reported to authorities, an action was initiated to retrieve the land from the clutches of the group; however at this juncture also, they paid bribe at the local level to offer an unproductive land situated at Batapora in exchange of the said productive property, so as to cover the illegal act. However, they failed to bend the higher-ups in the Waqf Board and the land still stands in the name of Waqf Board in revenue records.”

“Given the tough stand of the Board authorities, the group kept low and silent for some period. They have once again intruded in the land and are carrying construction activities there to give an impression to the villagers that the matter has been solved,” the locals added.

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With no intervention from the Budgam administration or the Wakf Board officials, the group is now emboldened to surface physically and seems that they are bent over occupying the land at any cost, which is illegal, they added.

The locals, as such requested the Wakf Board Chairperson Dr Dakarshan Andrabi, newly appointed Deputy Commissioner S F Hamid, Budgam Police and other probing agencies to take cognizance of the illegal act and probe the matter and take appropriate action against the alleged culprits and restore its possession to the legal owner J&K Waqf Board.

Administrator Waqf Board Charar-i-Sharif Abdul Salam told KDC, “After receiving information from our chairperson Dr Darakshan Andrabi, we immediately stopped the illegal construction activities on Waqf land and further decisions will be taken by the Waqf Board officials.”

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