September 2003 News

Govt takes over Hazratbal, entire property of MAT headed by Farooq

8 September 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: The Hazratbal and Charar-e-Sharief shrines were tonight taken over by the State Government which decided to take control of the entire property of Muslim Aquaf Trust headed by former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, alleging financial mismanagement. The decision to take over the shrines and the Trust properties was taken at a cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. In a swift follow up of the cabinet decision, authorities sealed Hazratbal, Charar-e-Sharief and three other shrines as well as the trust office inside the National Conference Headquarters at Nawa-i- Subah locality here, official sources said. The other shrines are Pakherpora, Dasteil Sahib and Makhdoom Sahib. Ironically, the decision was taken on a day when the National Conference was observing death anniversary of its founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Terming the takeovers as 'gruesome and exposing the real face of the Muftiís healing touch', National Conference president Omar Abduallah accused the PDP Government of 'targeting the NC and trying to remove the name of Shiekh Abdullah from the state.' He said the NC would decide the future course of action tomorrow. 'No one can rewrite the history as per his whims and fancies,' Abdullah said and added this was the most 'gruesome and the real face of the Muftiís healing touch'. Meanwhile, main accused in the Akshardham massacre, Chand Khan of Bareilly, has not only revealed that the Lashkar-e-Toiba militants had set out for the Gujarat mission from the Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargarís house in Kulgam area, but he has also divulged more sensational details. According to well-placed sources, Chand Khan has explained in detail how he had returned after the Akshardham massacre to the politicianís house and received 'cash reward' of Rs 35,000 from the Lashkar commander Abu Zubair. Highly- placed sources in Jammu & Kashmir Police, disclosed to EXCELSIOR that immediately after the expose carried by this newspaper on Sunday, tremendous pressure was being applied from several quarters to suppress Chand Khanís sensational revelations. Officially, the Government has confirmed that the Lashkar militants had been visiting the politicianís house 'for food, shelter etc', but it has maintained that the Minister had never met them. Sources said that the issue figured in this eveningís Cabinet meeting and almost all the Ministers expressed serious concern over the fact that militants had been running their operations from a Ministerís house. Sources said that the 9-member team of Gujarat Police, led by DCP DCB, Mr Banjara, sought Chand Khanís custody from J&K Police as, after his revelations, his confrontation with some people in Ahmedabad had become necessary. Reports, awaiting formal confirmation, said that the Gujarat Police team approached the Court of the District & Sessions Judge, Budgam, and got the permission of Chand Khanís custody for a particular time. He is likely to be taken to Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Earlier, Gujarat Police had claimed that five Ahmedabad Muslims had planned and executed the Akshardham attack in which 46 worshippers had been killed and dozens left wounded on September 24 last year. However, Chand Khanís arrest by J&K Police and his revelations have added a new sensational dimension to the whole episode. It appears that after detailed interrogation of Chand Khan, Gujarat Police team itself is convinced that the five persons, identified by Ahmedabad Police Commissioner R K Kaushak, had no involvement in the melodrama. Three of the five accused it has brought to Srinagar (Adam Sulaiman Ajmeri, Mufti Abdul Qayoom Mansoori and Maulvi Abdullah Mian alias Yaseen Mian Sayeed) have been lodged in an room of Jehangir Hotel.


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