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Dispur wakes up, assures protection of wakf land

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Rules & regulations to be framed by amending Assam Non-Agricultural Urban Area Tency Act, 1955; wakf land to be surveyed anew; six tribuls will look into wakf land grabbing cases

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Oct 12: Stung by widespread criticism in failing to safeguard wakf land from rampant encroachment, the State government today sat down to brainstorm with the Assam Wakf Board to redress the situation. The most important decision to emerge from this meeting was to implement the Wakf (Amendment) Act, 2013 in the State by framing the rules and regulations appropriately.

Accordingly, the Assam Non-Agricultural Urban Area Tency Act, 1955 will be suitably amended to include provisions for safeguarding wakf land. The State government also assured that recommendations submitted by the House Committee during the budget session this year, will be implemented.

The government also decided to survey wakf properties in the State, which were last surveyed way back in 1957. The new survey will be undertaken in a comprehensive manner to prevent any further misuse of wakf land. The Director of Land Records has been appointed as Survey Commissioner, with the ADC (revenue) in each district to also function as assistant survey commissioner and SDC of each subdivision to also function as sub-divisiol survey commissioner.

With cases related to wakf land encroachment and usurpation lodged in various courts, the State government has now decided to constitute six independent tribuls to deal exclusively with such cases. Each three-man tribul will consist of a member each from the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the public.

Decisions were also taken to increase the staff strength of the Wakf Board, set up zol wakf offices and constitute an advisory committee to advise on wakf matters.

Today’s meeting at the Assam Secretariat in Dispur was attended by Rakibul Hussain and Sukur Ali representing the government, senior officials of Fince, Revenue, Law and Minority Welfare departments with Assam Wakf Board chairman Nekibur Zaman and other representatives.

The Wakf Board owns properties of around 15,850 bighas of land in the State and their total value is estimated to be Rs 55,000 crore. Most of these are now under illegal occupation.

Earlier the Wakf Board chairman had demanded a high-level inquiry into the widespread encroachment of wakf land, particularly in prime urban locations, including Guwahati. Chief Minister tarun Gogoi had announced a judicial inquiry into the matter.

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