GUWAHATI, Sept 10 - Alleging large-scale corruption in the management of the properties of Assam Waqf Board, Chairman Nekibur Zaman on Sunday said that the previous government remained indifferent to the issues raised by him for ensuring that the Board functioned in the best interests of the intended beneficiaries.
Addressing a press conference, Zaman, whose term is ending on September 12, said that even his life had come under threat from the land mafia who had been hell-bent on misappropriating Board property.
�The indifference of the previous government can be explained to a large extent by the fact that a substantial portion of Waqf property had been under the hold of many Congressmen. Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had promised of a judicial inquiry, but nothing materialised. The present government has so far shown some intent in cleaning up the Board, with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal instituting a survey of Waqf land and property. We expect that the much-needed reforms of the Board will take place soon,� he said.
There are around 20,000 bighas of land besides a number of tea gardens under Waqf Board but most of the properties are being misused. Other than that, there are 179 registered properties under the board. The present value of these properties even by conservative estimates will run into Rs 50,000 crore.
But the revenue which was being generated over the years was mere Rs 70,000-80,000 or slightly higher in the last several years.
Zaman alleged that the political leaders-land mafia nexus had ensured that most of the Waqf properties are under the hold of undesirable people. Zaman took charge as Board Chairman in 2014.