Imams wait for salary, fail to meet Kejriwal

 Imams of Delhi are waiting for their salaries since December and they are losing hope as they have been unable to meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Imams say that the Wakf Board doesn't have enough funds.
On January 11, the day of the first janata darbar, close to one-fifth of 250 Delhi’s imams came to the city’s secretariat to submit a memorandum to the CM.

“We also had an appointment with Kejriwal,” said Hazrat Ali Mazahiri, who led the group that day. He said Kejriwal’s aide had confirmed a meeting with him. “But after his janata darbar turned chaotic, the meeting was cancelled,” he said.

Mazahiri said that before elections Kejriwal had promised to grant Rs 2 crore – as earlier assured by the Sheila Dixit government too – for the Wakf Board if AAP formed the government. “He had also assured that he would free Wakf property from encroachers,” he added.

The Wakf Board doesn’t earn enough revenue for payoffs, said Mazahiri.
In May 2013, their salaries had been increased to Rs 10,000 from Rs 6,220.
“The lease period for the many tenants has expired and there is a lot of encroachment upon Wakf property,” he said, adding that this was the reason for the financial crunch. The Wakf Board has not been able to pay salaries to muezzins and maintenance for widows, he said.

Khari Abdul Rahman, an Imam at Jama Masjid in Naiwalan said that the sources of income for Wakf have reduced. “Now a major source of earnings are hoardings on Wakf land,” he said.

“We have to primarily rely on tuitions or side business,” Rahman said. He teaches at a local madarsa. “We are waiting for Kejriwal to resume office,” he added.

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