A clash between two groups over the office of administrator at a seminary and control of its associated property was prevented by Gulgasht police on Wednesday.
Maulana Abdul Bar, who was removed from the office in 2006, along with his supporters tried to enter Madrassa Qasimul Alum to reclaim the office after a Lahore High Court verdict calling for the person holding the office on (and before) October 13, 2006 to be restored. Bar told The Express Tribune that he had been the administrator for over 20 years. He alleged that he was removed on a directive from Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam cheif Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said Rehman, who was then the opposition leader in the National Assembly, wanted to use the office for political purposes.
Several Bar supporters accompanying him on Wednesday were his students at the said seminary and had moved to Madrassa Rehmania following his ouster. They said the Majlis-i-Shoora (council) had framed corruption charges against Bar because they wanted to get rid of him. They said that a majority of the 20 members of Majlis-i-Shoora supported JUI-F and that they had sacked Bar because he was opposed to the seminary being partial towards a particular political party. The seminary is built over more than 15 kanals. Majlis-i-Shoora had sacked Bar after holding him guilty of misappropriation in the Rs200,000 per month rent received from the 45 shops built on land owned by the seminary. Bar had moved court against his sacking in October 2006. Maulana Yasin and Maulana Akbar, currently holding the office, rejected the suggestion that they were supported any political party. They also said they were only performing their job and had nothing to do with the decisions of the Majlis-i-Shoora. They said that when Bar took the matter to court they had already been appointed as the administrators so the court verdict was in fact in their favour. Muhammad Jamal, who was appointed as the caretaker of the seminary by the court, said he had received an application from Bar seeking permission to rejoin as the administrator. He said he was consulting a lawyer to figure out the rightful claimant and would reach a decision in a couple of days. He refused further comment on the issue and said that he would only submit a statement in writing with the police or the court.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman had earlier visited the seminary in 2007. Talking to the media, he had rejected the allegation that Bar was sacked because of political reasons. He had said that the Majlis-i-Shoora had found him guilty of corruption and embezzlement of funds and decided to sack him for that reason.
Gulgasht station house officer Muhammad Nasrullah told the Tribune that the police would ensure that the court order was implemented. He said he had discussed the matter with both parties and would soon arrange another meeting to go through the record of the case and decide who was to hold the administrator’s office in the light of the court’s order.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2011.
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