Waqf Board orders ban on ‘forcible’ collection of donations at shrines

Violators to be debarred from entering shrines

Irfan Tramboo
SRINAGAR, Aug 17: Jammu & Kashmir Waqf Board today ordered a complete ban on the collection of, what it called forcible donations, from the general public by a particular section of people who remain present at the shrines across J&K through “exploitative means.”
The Waqf said that it is in receipt of a large number of complaints against some people receiving donations forcibly and through exploitative means at the Ziyarats.
“Despite coming from a reasonably sound economic background, such people are permanently occupying particular spots within the shrines for their activities, and there are instances when such spots are being outsourced or contracted out against receipt of large sums of money, which violates the sacrosanctity of the Ziyarats,” reads a banning order issued here by the board.
The Board which took an eternity to issue such an order said that such unethical practices damage the sanctity of such sacred places, and are detrimental to the already strained finances of the J&K Waqf Board.
“Such pilferages are severely limiting the ability of the Waqf Board to perform basic duties of charity and carry out activities for the upliftment of the poor and disadvantaged groups of the society, and also limit the ability of Waqf to provide different facilities to the Zaireen and carry out infrastructural improvements at the Shrines.”
It also noted that such people have been repeatedly warned to desist from these activities, as it also sends a very wrong signal to the Zaireen, who are repeatedly requesting J&K Waqf Board to take stern action against such elements.
The Waqf said that it has come into existence to look after the administrative affairs of inalienable Waqfs for charitable and religious purposes and in addition to the management of properties like Business Establishments, Orchards and providing highly subsidized/free education in Schools and Darul-Ulooms, it said that the Waqf also controls and manages the affairs of major Shrines and Mosques across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Waqf directed for a complete ban on all such unethical practices across the Shrines of J&K UT with immediate effect.
“Central Waqf Office shall also be verifying the claims of all those performing different religious activities within the Ziyarats of J&K UT. Executive Officers/Administrators and staff posted at Shrines/ Masjids are hereby directed to impose the ban strictly,” it said.
Further, it said that non-compliance with the order be immediately referred to the Central Office, so that, the order said, a complete ban is ordered on the entry of such elements into pious and sacred places like Ziyarats.
“Notices along with Helpline numbers be pasted at conspicuous places within Ziyarats requesting the general public to inform about such elements. Any dereliction or laxity shown by any employee in this regard shall be viewed seriously and shall invite immediate disciplinary action.”