Athar Abbas Naqvi, the younger brother of Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, has served a legal notice to Shia Central Waqf Board’s chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi seeking damages of Rs 50 lakh within one week for removing him as mutawalli (caretaker) of a waqf property in Bareilly over alleged corruption charges. Naqvi has also warned Rizvi of legal action if the damages are not paid in time.
Naqvi was appointed as mutawalli on March 14, 2012, a day before Akhilesh Yadav took oath as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh. Recently, Samajwadi Party workers had staged protests in front of his house in Rampur district demanding his ouster as mutawalli. Naqvi’s elder brother Mukhtar Abbas is the political opponent of senior UP Minister Azam Khan, who hails from Rampur.
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Naqvi claimed that his removal has been done under “influence of political elements” but did not name any leader from the ruling Samajwadi Party in state.
On July 23, Rizvi-led Waqf Board had removed removed 19 mutawallis across the state, including Naqvi. However, Naqvi, who was mutawalli of waqf number 2553 of Chhoti Karbala and Kabristan in Bareilly, had refused to accept the order and responded with a legal notice.
Rizvi said that he is yet to receive the notice from Naqvi and will respond to it legally.
Meanwhile, Naqvi claimed that the Waqf Board notice has tarnished his reputation and he is receiving phone calls from relatives and well-wishers who are rebuking him.
As per the notice, Naqvi has been removed on charges of allegedly extorting money from members of Shia community for providing them land for graves in Chhoti Karbala and Kabristan and misusing the name of his brother, who is a minister in Narendra Modi government, for threatening people.
“No such complaint is pending against me. My removal was done under influence of political elements with ulterior motives of chairman and his personal ill will,” Naqvi claimed.
He also claimed that Shia community in Bareilly was satisfied with his work as mutawalli and there was no commercial activity for income from the waqf property. “There is a slanderous campaign against us. No mutawalli can be removed without his detailed reply. Rizvi had earlier defamed a spiritual leader also,” he alleged.
Serving the notice through his advocate, Naqvi has demanded that Rizvi should pay damages of Rs 50 lakh within one week else he will initiate legal proceedings against him under section 500 of IPC, which amounts to punishment for defamation including imprisonment and imposition of fine.