New Delhi: After the broad daylight murder on Monday of a Shia Muslim activist fighting to save 2.5 acre Karbala land in upscale Jor Bagh area in Delhi from alleged land grabbers, top Shia Muslim cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi on Friday demanded the Centre to provide police protection to the members of the Shia body waging the legal battle to save the holy land from mafia, which he said was led by senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

MyNation was the first to report that Patel had been accused of attempting to grab 2.5 acres of Karbala Jor Bagh land and had landed in legal trouble over the matter.

“Recently we had organised a big conference to save waqf lands in Delhi and just after that Shabbar Zaidy was murdered. He was quite active in the Save Karbala Movement against the land mafia led by Ahmed Patel. Now all the members of the Anjuman-e-Haidari trust that manages the holy Karbala land are under threat. There is threat to the lives of general secretary Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, manager Zaharul Hassan and the lead lawyer in their case against Patel, Mahmud Pracha,” Jawad told MyNation in an exclusive conversation.

“The government should provide them security as Patel is a very powerful politician with contacts in almost all the parties of the country. The matter should not be taken lightly and the state should safeguard their lives,” Jawad added.

Jawad also pointed out the several criminal complaints that are pending with the police against Patel in the same land grab matter. “Despite so many instances where the Shia community has complained to the police against Patel, no action has been taken yet. I call upon the government to act immediately,” Jawad said.

Jawad accused Patel of only using his Muslim name to draw political mileage from the Congress and has been oppressing the Shia community for personal gains. “He is not part of the Shia community. He has always worked against our interests and only for his own personal gains. We don’t consider him to be a part of us,” the cleric said.

There have been several criminal complaints lodged by Anjuman-e-Haidari trust against Patel and a court case in the matter is already ongoing.

Zaharul Hassan, manager of Anjuman-e-Haidari which takes care of waqf properties in Jor Bagh’s Aliganj including the holy Karbala grounds and Dargah-e-Mardan, had on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Delhi police commissioner, Union home minister and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), among others, alleging that senior Congress leader and Gandhi family loyalist Patel had been continuously threatening him and fellow activists of the Shia body.

Patel, they alleged, is the force behind those trying to illegally lay claim on the holy land, which is prime real estate worth hundreds of crores.

MyNation was also the first to report the murder case and the trust’s complaint.