In 2012, a report filed by the then Minority Commission Chairman created a havoc in Karnataka politics. The report made startling revelation about the misuse and misappropriation of the Wakf Property scam to the tune of whopping Rs 2.3 lakh crore which is meant for the needy and poor that also from the Muslim Community. In an exclusive interview to Organiser correspondent R Guruprasad, Anwar Manippady throws light on the extent of Wakf properties meant for the welfare of Muslims in Karnataka is misused and misappropriated by leaders. Here are the excerpts:
- What is this Wakf Scam all about?
The scam relates to misappropriation of Rs 2.3 lakh crore of Wakf properties in Karnataka. In March 2012, as chairman of Minority Commission, I had submitted a report to the then chief minister of Karnataka, DV Sadananda Gowda. The report was accepted by the then Cabinet. Before it were to be tabled in the Legislature, the BJP government lost in the elections and Congress government put the report in cold storage.
- Can you share important findings of your investigation?
The Wakf properties in Karnataka were meant to be used for the upliftment of poor Muslims. However, the netas have usurped these lands and joined hands with realtors for converting it into resorts and hotels. I had recommended that the government should constitute a committee to investigate corruption and recover illegally sold properties.
- How has been the Siddaramaiah government’s reaction to the report?
The present government and its Minorities Welfare Minister did not want to table the report. I can say that at least 31 top leaders of Congress are afraid of my report. Even the current Minorities Welfare Minister is the prime accused. Even after order from the council chairman DH Shankaramurthy the government did not table the Wakf Scam report. Later, a PIL was filed by SK Kantha, former Minister of Karnataka over the report and the Court asked the government to table the report. What the government tabled was the rejected recommendations, not the entire report. We have knocked the doors of the court again.
- You are being accused of being politically motivated.
This is a mere political escapism. If the report was politically motivated, why would have the Karnataka High Court directed the government to table the report in both the Houses of Legislature?
- What are the feelings of common Muslims in Karnataka?
The strong Muslim community in State feels cheated by the Congress government. There have been protests at various places throughout for implementing this report.
- What is you experience in pursuing this case?
I have been pressurised numerous times on not digging deep into this multi-crore scandal. An influential person from Dubai had tried to woo me with Rs 5 crore. When I refused to budge, I got a threat call in Mangaluru that the sharp shooters were on their way from Mumbai to eliminate me.
- What is your future course of action?
My only aim is to bring justice to the Muslims living in Karnataka. Even BJP's State unit president BS Yeddyurappa had raised the issue and talked about chalking out a strategy to ensure the report be tabled in the House.