To look for any irregularities in the ownership of the properties or how they were acquired, the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a “well-intentioned” survey of the properties controlled by the Sunni and Shia Central Waqf Boards in the state.
The action is being taken amid a dispute over a current survey of private madrasas throughout Uttar Pradesh.
The term “Waqf,” which refers to a philanthropic, religious endowment, is used to describe property donations made for charitable and religious purposes in Islamic law and custom. It is regarded as “God’s property” after donation.
162,229 waqf properties are registered in Uttar Pradesh, with 150,000 with the Sunni Central Waqf Board and 12,229 with the Shia Central Waqf Board.
“Waqf properties are very important. No one has the right to occupy it,” Dharampal Singh, Uttar Pradesh minister for waqf and Haj, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Wednesday. “The government has, with good intention, started this survey. Orders have been given to first identify waqf properties before taking further action.”
Danish Azad Ansari, the minister of state for minority affairs, denied knowledge of any such survey order on waqf assets on Tuesday, though.
All district magistrates have reportedly received the survey order, according to a state government official familiar with the situation. The official said, seeking anonymity, “They have been ordered to submit data of such waqf properties within a month.”