Shia clerics oppose demand to declare Taj Mahal a waqf property

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Lucknow, Nov 25:  Prominent Shia clerics on Tuesday opposed the demand to declare Taj Mahal as a Waqf property and handed over to Waqf board saying the world heritage monument should be kept away from politics.

They also questioned when both Shia and Sunni Waqf boards were unable to maintain their mosques and madrasas, then how will they handle Taj Mahal.

File photo of Taj Mahal

"As far as Mumtaz Mahal is concerned, she was a Shia, but Taj Mahal is heritage of the country and it should not be handed over to Sunni or Shia boards," spokesman of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas told PTI.

"Shia and Sunni boards are unable to maintain their mosques and madrasas, then how will they handle Taj Mahal? If the issue of handing Taj Mahal to the waqf board is raised then Shia and Sunni will come face to face, therefore it should be kept away from the tussle," he added.

A lesser known organisation Imam-e-Raza had in Agra on Monday demanded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to declare Taj Mahal as waqf property and permission to use it for "matam" during Moharram.

The issue came into light following a statement of State Minority Welfare and Waqf Minister Mohd Azam Khan, during a convention of 'Mutawallis' (caretakers) on November 13, asking Chairman of State Sunni Central Waqf Board to make Taj Mahal a property of the board and appoint him as 'mutawalli'.

Though later when reporters asked him Azam said,"why you take things said in a lighter vein so seriously." Prominent Shia cleric and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said that issue was raised after Khan's statement. He alleged that Azam was unable to deliver things in his control as Waqf Minister and was talking about something which was not under his control.

"Waqf property worth several crore rupees were under the control of the government," he said alleging that Azam was giving such statements to distract people's attention from the failure of the government. He said Taj Mahal was a world heritage site and it should not be dragged in politics.

PTI

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