The Telangana government has sealed the office of the State Wakf Board, pending an inquiry into alleged irregularities.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is likely to announce in the Assembly on Thursday the nature of probe and the steps to be taken to protect the Wakf properties in the state.
The revenue department late on Tuesday night sealed the office of the Wakf Board located in Haj House in the heart of Hyderabad.
The action came on the orders of Chandrasekhar Rao, who was unsatisfied with the answers by the Board officials with regard to the protection of Wakf properties.
At a meeting with top officials to review the functioning of Wakf Board, the Chief Minister enquired about Wakf lands and other properties and sought details. As the employees failed to provide the details, he decided to crack the whip.
Wakf Board chairman Mohammed Saleem said following the Chief Minister's order, Hyderabad District Collector Yogitha Rana and other officials reached the office along with the police and sealed it.
Officials said this was done to prevent any employee from tampering with records or shifting the files relating to Wakf properties.
Though the Wakf Board had long been facing allegations of irregularities and mismanagement, this is the first time its office has been sealed.
Meanwhile, speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi welcomed the action taken by the Chief Minister.
Claiming that he had been fighting for protection of Wakf property for two decades, Owaisi said a thorough probe should be conducted into the irregularities and all lands encroached by others should be reclaimed.
He said the Board was neck-deep in corruption with even peons and sweepers were drawing Rs 80,000 salary. He alleged that four to five members of one family were employed in the Board.
Stating that those living as tenants in Wakf buildings were paying a paltry rent of Rs 200, the AIMIM leader demanded that rent be enhanced to the market value.