Authorities at Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board Saturday sealed four branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, operating from Wakf properties located in different parts of Kashmir, as the former had failed to pay long pending arrears to latter.
The development came after Wakf had repeatedly asked bankofficials to clear its monthly rents for using Wakf assets.
Bank branches which were sealed comprise J&K Bank BranchKralyar New Market Anantnag (Islamabad), J&K Bank Branch Rupa Reshi HabbaKadal, J&K Bank Branch Aishmuqam, and J&K Bank Branch Newa Pulwama.
As per the official records of Wakf Board, the J&K BankBranch Kralyar New Market Anantnag (Islamabad) owes Rs 32,49,719, J&K BankBranch Rupa Reshi Habba Kadal Rs 13,44,455, J&K Bank Branch Aishmuqam7,70,427, and J&K Bank Branch Newa Pulwama Rs 40,00,000.
Similarly, the Wakf Board also sealed the LIC branch atSonwar Srinagar for failing to clear the amount of Rs 56,49,870.
Wakf Vice Chairman GR Sufi said banks were given sufficienttime and opportunities to clear the arrears.
"In fact, we have shot several notices to bank forclearance of arrears. But it even failed to give any positive response,"he said.
He added that for the past three months the process torecover the arrears was expedited and today the offices of defaulters weresealed.
The action by Wakf coincides with the day when governmentremoved J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmad and replaced him by RK Chibber.However, Wakf Board vice chairman clarified that both developments are notconnected in any manner.
Wakf officials said that action under rules will followagainst other defaulters. "All the defaulters are financially well-off andcome from the rich strata of the society. Some Wakf Board property users havepending arrears in crores. We are further expediting the process to recover theamount," said an official.
Earlier, Wakf authorities had sent 109 cases for recovery ofRs 6 crore to different deputy commissioners in Kashmir.
As per official records accessed by Greater Kashmir, Rs4,18,72,986 was to be recovered in Srinagar from 91 users of Wakf property andRs 36,37,843 from Baramulla.