Accused of trying to grab prime waqf property in Delhi’s tony Jor Bagh area, top Congress leader and close confidante of the party’s first family Ahmad Patel would be represented by his lawyer in court on February 23.

Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP and a leader with considerable clout, was earlier issued notice by a Delhi court to appear in person or be represented by his lawyer on January 25 in the matter.

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Patel has been accused of trying to grab a 2.5-acre plot of land that is part of waqf land managed by Jor Bagh Aliganj. The prime piece of land is worth thousands of crores at current market prices.

The complaint against him has been filed in the court by Zaharul Hassan, manager of Anjuman-e-Haidari, which takes care of waqf properties in Jor Bagh Aliganj, including  Karbala grounds and Dargah-e-Mardan.

Hassan has also alleged that he had been manhandled and abused at Patel’s Delhi residence on January 23 when he went to serve him the court notice for January 25.

Holy land under attack?

The complainant has accused the Congress leader, along with what the petitioner calls “members of waqf land mafia”, of “desecration of dargah, Shah-e-Mardan, armed looting of pipes, iron poles and other articles belonging to dargah”. The complainant alleges “criminal intimidation” and “criminal trespass” inside the dargah on August 11, 2016. MyNation has accessed the petition filed in the Patiala House Court.

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Petitioner’s advocate Mahmud Pracha alleged that Patel and his men were trying to grab this prime, holy land. “Anjuman-e-Haideri is the largest Shia body of the country. This shrine is among the holiest for Muslims as Hazrat Ali’s footprint is found here, apart from only one other place in the world that is Iraq. The accused are in a habit of repeatedly attacking the shrine and its devotees and managers to intimidate them into leaving claim on the land. As the police did nothing we had to move the court,” Pracha said.

About the showdown in front of Patel’s residence, Pracha said: “The police had to be called ultimately. However, the petitioner was successful in pasting the notice on the gate of Patel’s house.”

The petitioner has also written against the waqf land mafia to the Prime Minister, Union home minister and commissioner of Delhi Police “to ensure protection of waqf properties as well as non-interference of waqf land mafia and its members during the religious/national functions including National Flag hoisting on the revered occasion of Independence Day organised by Anjuman-e-Haideri.”

Allegations against Ahmed Patel
“On 11.08.2016 at about 11.00 am, when Anjuman-e–Haideri had started preparations for hoisting of the National Flag and other religious programmes on the revered occasion of Independence Day to be held on 15.08.2016, there was criminal trespassing on the premises of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan” by Patel, accompanied by others, the petition alleged.

Hassan said that the “waqf land mafia forcefully continued trespassing due to the collusion of the Delhi Police personnel…who intimidated, threatened, abused” him and office-bearers of the dargah. “They also looted some of the articles belonging to the said Dargah,” he said in the complaint.

According to the complaint when the petitioner objected, “then one personnel in civil clothes wearing a white shirt and sport shoes carrying a gun in his possession said, ‘Teri kheriat isi mein hai tu chup chap chala jaa nahi to aaj tera kaam tamaam kar diya jaega’ (You leave this place quietly else we will finish you).”

 The police angle
One of the police officials, Hassan said, threatened him with slapping false cases: “Nursery ka claim wapas le lo nahin to Ahmed Patel Sahab dargah me koi bhi programme nahin hone denge aur saalo tum par jhoote case lagaenge tum saab kaa baal baanka bhi nahi kar paoge."

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The petition noted that the policemen present there kept on inciting the mob. It also cited the incident on the holy day of Nauchandi Jumerat. “That to address the aforesaid programme a renowned Muslim cleric from Lucknow Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi was inside the Dargah who appealed to the devotees not to react to the illegal act of the waqf land mafia and as he tried to pacify the situation. Shahi Imam Maulana Qasim Zaidi lodged a complaint of this incident to a PCR on 100 No,” Hassan said in his petition.