K'taka Govt will protect Wakf properties: Minister

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Bangalore, Jun 9 (UNI) The Karnataka Government would take all measures to protect Wakf properties, worth crores of rupees, being ''illegally'' held by vested interests, Minister for Minorities Welfare, Wakf and Haj Mamtaj Ali Khan said today.

Talking to newspersons here, he said, ''the government will take all possible measures to safeguard Wakf properties which had changed hands by illegal means at the behest of vested interests.'' The BJP government had both ''will and strength'' to protect the Wakf properties. It would be done by winning the confidence of the community, he added.

Some prime properties belonging to the Wakf Board had been encroached upon and measures would be initiated to evict the slum dwellers after taking steps for their proper rehabilitation.

Referring to one of the Board's property on which a five-star hotel had been built, he said the matter was now before the Supreme Court and the government would fight to retrieve the land.

He regretted that despite huge amount of money being spent for the welfare of minorities by the Centre and the state government, majority of them still remained in the BPL category.

The government had received reports about misappropriation in the Minorities Development Corporation, State Minorities Commission and the Haj Committee. The government would take appropriate measures in this regard after taking the community into confidence, he added.

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