‘Board has neglected Syed Janbaz Wali shrine despite taking Rs 2 Cr from its coffers’
Thousands of leaflets carrying a hard-hitting message against the Muslim Wakf Board were distributed among locals and passersby in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district Friday, in an open loathing of a body which analysts say has largely failed to serve needy Kashmiris.
At least 2000 leaflets, printed in Urdu, were distributed by local caretakers of a prominent shrine, Ziarat Sharief Syed Janbaz Wali Sahib, in Khanpora locality of baramulla town.
The local caretakers came out loud against the widespread “irregularities” in the Board after a series of reports in Greater Kashmir that highlighted how the Board had failed to create the system of Bait-ul-Maal in Kashmir for needy and also how it has failed to repair some structures.
Although low key, Friday’s reaction from the shrine caretakers was a direct message to the Wakf Board. The leaflets accused the body of “widespread cheating after drawing crores of rupees from the shrine lockers.”
“It is unfortunate that these shrines are under the control of Wakf Board,” the 3-page leaflet read.
If these shrines were left independent, the leaflet added, they could establish their own separate Dar-ul-Ulooms (Islamic schools).
The leaflet read the Board was being used as a “political platform” and that it has failed to repair the Ziarat Sharief Syed Janbaz Wali Sahib from whose lockers “it has taken more than two crore rupees.”
Published by ‘Idara Tahqeeqat-e-Imam Ahmad Kashmir,’ the handout also said that retired officers were being given charge of the Board “who have no knowledge about Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).”
Over the years, the neglect of Board towards the shrine has left its caretakers and devotees with a deep sense of grievance who say the structure was in a dilapidated condition and that the body has failed to renovate it.
“The Board has not spent a penny on the shrine,” the shrine’s head caretaker, Khurshid Ahmad, told Greater Kashmir.
“There are cracks in the structure. It is in danger. We reached out to Wakf Board but they didn’t pay any heed.”
According to the caretaker, more than 50, 000 people throng the shrine on the Urs (death anniversary) of Syed Janbaz Wali Sahib.
“There is a threat of collapse in case the structure is not repaired,” the caretaker said.
The shrine, before being taken over by Wakf Board in 2008, was run by a local Auqaf committee.
The local Auqaf had handed over the shrine to the Wakf Board against a promise that it will uplift the structure. But according to the caretaker, the Board has failed to fulfill its promise.
“The shrine,” the caretaker said, “has no bathroom, no Sarai (inn) and no room for the imam.”