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  Updated: July 11, 2008

India Shias demand on Azadari, waqf, representation in govt

By: Nizam Hussain

LUCKNOW, India: A delegation of Shia clerics led by Imam-i-Juma of Lucknow’s Asafi mosque and All India Muslim Personal Law Board member (AIMPLB) Maulana Kalbe Jawwad last week met Uttar Pradesh government and put a number of demands regarding Shia rights.

They urged the government to increase the representation of Shia Muslims in government departments, lift restrictions imposed on “Azadari” processions during Moharram, as well as restoration of waqf properties acquired by the government agencies in Uttar Pradesh to the Shia Waqf Board.

Among the delegation were President of All India Shia Personal Law Board Moulana Mirza Mohammad Athar and AIMPLB member Maulana Hamidul Hasan.

The delegation held talks with the Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Advisory Council, Satish Chandra Mishra.

The example of Shahdara mosque on Mohan Road in Lucknow was cited as one of the instances where the property had been acquired by the government. The land belonging to the mosque has been acquired for the construction of a university for persons with disability.

The proposed university has been named after Mr. Mishra’s mother, Shakuntala Mishra. Stating that it was waqf property, Maulana Jawwad said the land should be returned to the mosque.

Moulana Athar and Maulana Hamidul Hasan said that the representation of the Shias in government should be increased.

In a memorandum submitted to Mr. Mishra, the delegation laid stress on the modernisation of madrasas and demanded the regularization of the services of teachers of the Arabi madrasas.

The teachers have been drawing their salary since 1972. But since their service record has been shown from 1993, it impacted on the retirement and pension benefits.

Among the other demands were withdrawal of cases against the Shias named as accused in Shia-Sunni riots in Lucknow.

The PWD and Irrigation Minister, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who performed the role of Chief Minister Mayawati’s representative in enlisting the support of the Muslims, was present at the meeting.                        

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