Srinagar :Authorities at Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board Saturday sealed four branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, operating from Wakf properties located in different parts of Kashmir, as the former had failed to pay long pending arrears to latter.
The development came after Wakf had repeatedly asked bank officials to clear its monthly rents for using Wakf assets.
Bank branches which were sealed comprise J&K Bank Branch Kralyar New Market Anantnag (Islamabad), J&K Bank Branch Rupa Reshi Habba Kadal, J&K Bank Branch Aishmuqam, and J&K Bank Branch Newa Pulwama.
As per the official records of Wakf Board, the J&K Bank Branch Kralyar New Market Anantnag (Islamabad) owes Rs 32,49,719, J&K Bank Branch Rupa Reshi Habba Kadal Rs 13,44,455, J&K Bank Branch Aishmuqam 7,70,427, and J&K Bank Branch Newa Pulwama Rs 40,00,000.
Similarly, the Wakf Board also sealed the LIC branch at Sonwar Srinagar for failing to clear the amount of Rs 56,49,870.
Wakf Vice Chairman GR Sufi said banks were given sufficient time and opportunities to clear the arrears.
“In fact, we have shot several notices to bank for clearance of arrears. But it even failed to give any positive response,” he said.
He added that for the past three months the process to recover the arrears was expedited and today the offices of defaulters were sealed.
The action by Wakf coincides with the day when government removed J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmad and replaced him by RK Chibber. However, Wakf Board vice chairman clarified that both developments are not connected in any manner.
Wakf officials said that action under rules will follow against other defaulters. “All the defaulters are financially well-off and come from the rich strata of the society. Some Wakf Board property users have pending arrears in crores. We are further expediting the process to recover the amount,” said an official.
Earlier, Wakf authorities had sent 109 cases for recovery of Rs 6 crore to different deputy commissioners in Kashmir.
As per official records accessed by Greater Kashmir, Rs 4,18,72,986 was to be recovered in Srinagar from 91 users of Wakf property and Rs 36,37,843 from Baramulla.