HYDERABAD: Allegations of wrongdoings and financial mishandling continue to be made against the management of Dargah Yousufain, particularly with respect to permissions being given for setting up of shops over graves that dot the area around the dargah.
As per official documents, till 2014, 96 small shops were allowed to be set up over the graves, which by 2018 increased to 104 and to 129 a year later. Currently, there are 167 shops selling various items to the faithful.
While the shopkeepers are expected to pay rent that has been agreed upon by them and the Wakf Board, it is reliably learnt that many are not doing so. There are also allegations that several of the shops that have come up over graves, have done so illegally.
Enquiries with Wakf Board officials revealed that they were instructed not to collect rent from the shopkeepers. The chairman of Wakf Board was not available for comment as he was reportedly ‘busy’ in some meetings.
Previously, Mutawalli Mohammed Faisal Ali Shah, was suspended on charges of corruption in 2014 by the Board that held him responsible for the poor upkeep and cleanliness of the graveyard around the dargah, as well as siphoning-off money from the hundis and rents from shopkeepers. And when the Board appointed a new mutawalli, Moulana Syed Hasan Shabbir, it retained financial powers.
Mohammed Abrarullah, a devotee, said he had written to different government authorities with documentary evidence highlighting the corrupt practices in the dargah, but no action has been taken so far. He said after removal of the previous mutawalli, 70 shops appeared inside the dargah. “Islamic teaching preaches us to venerate the graves, it even prohibits sitting on graves, but Wakf Board authorities have allowed the shopkeepers to run their business,” he said.
Abrarullah also claimed that the first floor of the masjid and Sama Khana inside the dargah were alienated to a supplying company on rent, and said there was a need to constitute a high-level inquiry to expose the irregularities.