Telangana Waqf Board Raps Graveyard Committees for Turning Away Muslim Man’s Body over Covid-19 Fears

The board has warned of strict action against the caretakers, and said graveyards cannot refuse to bury bodies and cannot collect any substantial amount from family members of a deceased on the pretext of allocating land.

After News18 Urdu reported about a man being denied burial in Muslim graveyards over Covid-19 fears and his last rites being performed in a Hindu resting place in Hyderabad, Telangana State Waqf Board has taken cognisance of the incident and said it will issue notices to the caretakers of the graveyards.

Board’s chairman Mohammed Saleem has warned of strict action against the caretakers, i.e., mutavallis of graveyards committees if they deny any body a respectful burial as per the norms. “The graveyard is not anyone’s personal property,” he said. “We will not tolerate if anyone turns away the family members of the deceased when they come to seek land for burial.”

Saleem said that across the state, except for a nominal fee, graveyard committees can’t collect any substantial amount from the family members of the deceased on the pretext of allocating land.

Based on the News18 Urdu report, the organisation Tehreek Muslim Shabban has lodged a complaint with the Telangana State Waqf Board against management committees of five graveyards for allegedly denying land for burial to a Muslim man. President of the organisation, Mohd Mustaq Malik, also demanded framing of guidelines for the management committees of graveyards and permission to bury in any of them.

While the Majlis Bachao Tahreek also took interest in this matter, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) is asking people not to behave in such an inhumane manner, while spreading awarenessabout precautionary measures to tackle the coronavirus threat.

Four days ago, a man from Hydershah Kot area, Mohammad Khwaja Miyan, had died of cardiac arrest and his family could not get any land for burial at five graveyards in the city. “We could not take the body to our native place as it’s over 200 km away. What were we supposed to do in such a situation?” asked a relative.

Local Hindus offered their land and the family had to bury the deceased there. Following the incident, Muslim community leaders across Hyderabad and other parts of the state demanded that strict action be taken against graveyard management committees for turning away the family.

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