Waqf Board staff caught stealing donations
Accused Say ‘Embezzlement Routine Practice At Shrines’
Srinagar, Sep 1: An internal report of Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board has pointed towards siphoning of donations offered by the devotees at the shrines of the Valley.
The report, according to sources, based on the raid conducted by three member team of Waqf Board led by Tehsildar Syed Muhammad Wani brings to light the loot of offerings in the shrines of the Valley.
Corroborating the apprehensions of the general public about minting of donations by Waqf Board employees in the shrines, the report says that Rs 2820 were seized from the four employees of the Board during surprise raid conducted on August 28 by a team of Waqf Board officials comprising besides Wani, Khursheed Ahmed - Controller Bagat (orchard) wing and Habibullah Parray – PA to Vice-Chairman, in one of the shrines of south Kashmir. The surprise raid was conducted at the shrine of Sayeed Hassan Mantaqi (RA) in Awantipora area of district Pulwama on the directions of Vice-chairman Waqf Board in the wake of reports that the staff posted there was involved in embezzlement of donations.
The report reveals that Rs 1500 were recovered from one of the delinquent employee when he tried to hide the amount in the main shrine; Rs 300 were recovered from under the matting of counting room; Rs 760 were recovered from the bedding of counting room; Rs 260 were recovered from the gas cylinder of kitchen room.
According to the documents, the delinquent employees confessed that all employees posted at the unit for the purpose of collection of donations are shareholders in the booty.
“In their statement, the accused conceded/admitted that such kind of embezzlement is a routine practice of the employees posted at the shrine for collection of the donations,” the report reveals.
Pertinently, most of the donations at the shrine are made by commuters and drivers travelling on Srinagar-Jammu highway and there is no practice in vogue at the shrine to issue receipts (coupons) to those offering donations.
When contacted, Vice-Chairman of Waqf Board, MY Qadri confirmed the pilferage of donations and added that four employees involved in the misconduct were put under suspension.
“The raid was conduct on my directions,” he said.
Pertinent to mention that Waqf Board, which looks after the shrines and Muslim properties in the Valley, has been of late marred by mismanagement and lack of accountability.
An official of Waqf Board wishing anonymity said minting of money by employees of the Board at shrines has become norm over the years and there is no proper mechanism in place to control the practice.
“There is need of more such exercises and one raid will not solve the problem,” the official said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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