Millennium Post

Delhi Waqf Board intervenes after irregularities at Nizamuddin Dargah

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Waqf Board has moved to intervene in the management of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah after receiving complaints of mismanagement and irregularities in donations received at the famous Sufi shrine. Delhi Waqf Board chairman Amanatullah Khan has invited applications from eminent citizens to form a new committee that will keep record of the donations and ensure its use in public welfare, an official said.

"We will soon form the committee that will ensure proper maintenance of the dargah and audit of the 'nazrana' (donations) received there," Khan said.

He alleged that there was no record of the donations received at the dargah, which is a waqf property over the years. The dargah of Nizamuddin Aulia has several mazars -- including those of the Sufi saint and his disciple, Amir Khusrau -- that attract a large number of visitors.

The offerings from the devotees are collected under 'baridari' system through nearly 400 'pirzadas' -- custodians of Sufi mausoleums and descendants of those buried at a dargah.

"As per a 1970 gazette notification of the Waqf Board, 'pirzadas' are managers who have the right over the offerings at the dargah," said Farid Ahamad Nizami of the Anjuman Peerzadan Nizamiyan Khusravi, a coordination committee of the dargah.

Nizami rejected allegations of irregularities in the collection of donations, saying 'pirzadas' has been managing the dargah for centuries with the help of offerings of the devotees, without any interference of the waqf board. "A portion of the offering is divided among the 'pirzadas' and the rest of it is used in the maintenance of the dargah. Sometimes, when expenditure is more than the offerings, we pay from our pockets to keep things going," Nizami said.

A receiver was appointed for the dargah after a Delhi High Court's order in 2006. The Delhi Waqf Board had formed a committee, but it became dysfunctional due to the resistance by the 'pirzadas', the waqf board official said.

Khan said the Delhi Waqf Board was eligible for a seven per cent share in the donations or income of the dargah.

The board just wants to ensure proper utilisation of the donations in better upkeep of the shrine and welfare of the people, he added.

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