Govt hands over 'disputed' land to Waqf board

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Hyderabad, Jan 18 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy today said the Government has handed over 5,237 acres of 'disputed' land of Hajara darga at Visakhapatanam to the State Waqf Board.

Addressing a press conference here Dr Reddy said the case of disputed land was pending in the court since 1902. The government withdrew its petition in the court and handed over the land to the Waqf board.

Stating that the government was committed to the welfare of minorities, he said the government had allocated Rs 5.10 crore to protect the Waqf lands and Rs 1.50 crore for the protection of Christian and Sikh properties in the state last year.

Announcing that the government waived Rs 23.50 crore interest on the loans taken, from the State Minority Finance Corporation (APMFC), by the Muslims, Dr Reddy said the government was preparing a scheme to provide loans at 25 paise interest to urban Muslim women this year.

He also said his Government was providing scholarships to all minority students, reimbursing fees and paying mess charges on par with the students of Backward Communities.

Alleging that the previous TDP Government sold 729 acres of Waqf lands to the companies in the capital city at the rate of Rs 40 crore and neglected the welfare of Muslims, Minority Welfare Minister Mohd Ali Shabbir charged that the Opposition TDP leaders were raising the minority welfare issue to gain political benefit.

The Congress Government sold 100 acres of Waqf land at the rate of Rs 400 crore which was earlier given to the Waqf board, he added.

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