SHC summons secy Auqaf in shrine land protection case

KARACHI: Sindh High Court SHC on Tuesday directed secretary, Sindh Auqaf Department, to appear in person before it and submit replies on a petition calling for protection of Saint Mangho Pir shrine from the land mafia.

A division bench of SHC, headed by Justice Muneeb Akhtar, was seized with the hearing of the petition filed by shrine’s custodian and chairperson, Syed Shah Ghulam Mohiuddin Sharafi Firdousi, who has cited secretary, provincial Auqaf department chief administrator, administrator and manager of the shrine as respondents.

The petitioner submitted that he has been entrusted with maintaining the security of the shrine of saint Hazrat Shaikh Hafiz Haji Hassan comprising an area of 17 acres that includes the shrine, crocodile pond and a graveyard.

He further stated that the manner in which the Auqaf department is running the affairs, there is a chance that the land would be encroached upon by the land mafia in connivance with the chief administrator and administrator, Auqaf West Circle.

The petitioner further said that Auqaf department, who is responsible for maintaining the shrine, is only interested in the collections, while the visitors are facing great difficulty due to lack of maintenance.

He requested the court to direct the Auqaf department to save the land from encroachment and maintain the shrine.

The bench directed additional advocate general of Sindh to ensure that comments are filed by all respondents. However, the bench has summoned the secretary, provincial Auqaf department.

Hearing of the case was adjourned till October 10, 2013.

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