SRINAGAR: People have hailed the Waqf Board’s decision to impose blanked ban on receiving donations forcibly and through exploitative means across the Shrines of J&K UT. People have said that they had a ‘sigh of relief’ by the recent order and have called it ‘cleansing of ziyarats’.
On August 17, the ban was ordered following receipt of large number of complaints against some people receiving donations forcibly and through exploitative means at the Ziyarats.
“Despite coming from reasonably sound economic background, such people are permanently occupying particular spots within the shrines for their activities,” Niyaz Ahmad said, while paying obeyance at Makhdoom Sahib shrine in Srinagar.
He said that this ban will clean the shrines and people who come for soul searching will not be disturbed by the ‘so called middle men between God and them’.
“They have created a hegemony as if they are middle men between God and us. It is good riddance,” he added.
Auqaf in its press statement had said that there are instances when such spots are being outsourced or contracted out against receipt of large sums of money that violates the sacro-sanctity of the Ziyarats. It was further given out that such unethical practices damage the sanctity of such sacred places, and is detrimental to the already strained finances of the J&K Waqf Board.
Shaziya Ahad, a devotee at Khanqah e Moalla, said that the spot holders had created self rules to who can do what in the shrines and with one stroke they have been shown their places.
“The exploitation must have ended earlier but better late than never. It is a welcome step and must be implemented strictly by the authorities,” she added.
“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” read the order.
The order also mentions that such people were 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.
Now therefore, “a complete ban is hereby ordered 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” reads the order.