Geelani's donation row intensifies

With dispute between hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani and religio-political Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir deepening over the transfer of property, it has surfaced that Geelani’s elder son and son-in-law are among the so far anonymous members of the controversial trust that received property worth crores of rupees.

The trust deed executed on December 13, 2013 has Geelani’s elder son Naem Zaffar, his son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah, another close relative, Shah Wali Muhammad and close aides Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Mehraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Peer Saifullah and Mohammad Yousuf Mujahid as the eight trustees of Mili Trust.

The names of the trustees had not been revealed so far even as the transfer of property to the trust snowballed into a major row between Geelani and his former organisation, Jamaat-e-Islami, which claimed the property’s ownership.
The spokesman of JeI advocate Zahid Ali said Islam doesn’t permit someone to donate the property of an organisation to a self-made trust.

“If it is the Milli Trust then there should have been members from different religious and political parties but not the group of relatives and party workers of Geelani,” he said.

Zahid said if Geelani wants to donate property, then he should start with his own property in Sopore and other places.
 
“If someone is powerful that doesn’t mean he will misuse power. Those who are members of this trust are not the representatives of the millat (nation),” he said.
Geelani’s spokesman Ayaz Akbar said they will go for a general membership drive of Milli Trust. “We are going for a general membership drive in future,” he said.

The controversy surrounding the trust began last week when Geelani announced that he had handed over his residence and office building at the posh Hyderpora locality on the city’s outskirts and a publication house to the autonomous Mili Trust.

The JeI, to which Geelani was affiliated for several decades before forming his own party claimed the ownership of the donated property, saying the party will be “authorised to take any decision” about it after Geelani’s death.

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