Delhi Waqf Board suspends officer over graft charge

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New Delhi : The Delhi Waqf Board on Wednesday suspended its section officer K. Alam Farooqi over the 2016 alleged sale of a portion of Chirag Delhi dargah to a private dealer in connivance with Board officials.

The decision comes a day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan was, for the second time, elected as the Chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board after resigning in 2016 over allegations of corruption.

The Chirag Delhi dargah case first came to light in March 2016 when the caretaker of the dargah allegedly sold a piece of land to a private player. The locals interfered and stopped the construction of the two rooms that the caretakers said were part of 'musafirkhana' (guest rooms) outside the main enclosure of the dargah.

In January this year, a Delhi assembly committee report alleged corruption by the section officer and accused Farooqi of illegally selling a portion of the land to private players.

Talking to IANS, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said: "K. Alam Farooqi sold a portion of the 14th-century dargah to a private player by the name of Sri Ram Builders in connivance with Waqf Board officials. When Amanatullah Khan, who was the chairman of the Board in 2016, got to know about this deal, he tried to file an FIR but soon he resigned."

This, he said, gave Farooqi an opportunity to misplace the deal papers and the documents which stated that the Chirag Delhi dargah property belongs to the Waqf Board.

"Mr Farooq instead presented a misleading report which stated that the dargah property never even belonged to the Board in the first place," said Bharadwaj, who had first raised the issue in the House in 2016.

He further said that the section officer was then confronted with the locals and the then CEO of the Waqf Board who clearly said that Farooqi misplaced the files of the dargah.