MANGALORE: The state government has mooted setting up a Haj Ghar in all the four revenue sub-divisions in Karnataka including the one coming up near the state capital. Haj Ghars have been proposed in Mangalore, Hubli and Gulbarga, said Minister for Municipal administration, public enterprises, minority welfare, Wakf and Haj Qamar-ul-Islam. Process of identifying land for Haj Ghar here in on and DC has been instructed to do the needful, he said.
Interacting with reporters after receiving representation from people during his maiden visit to the district after assuming charge as minister, Islam said the main idea in starting Haj Ghars at above mentioned places is to ensure that Muslim devouts undertaking Haj pilgrimage need for travel far to carry out pre-Haj rituals before embarking on the tour. “They can reach the nearest Haj Ghar within a distance of 250-300-kms henceforth,” he said.
R Abdul Reyaz Khan, chairman, Karnataka State Board of Wakfs who accompanied the minister said the Haj Ghars at Bangalore, and those proposed at Gulbarga, Hubli and Mangalore will also prove to be useful to devouts from neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as well. People from Hosur, Ananthpur and other bordering areas can henceforth use the facility set up the state government for their needs, he said.
More than 1.50-lakh Muslims undertakes Haj from India every year and a sizable number are from the state, Abdul Reyaz said, adding that pilgrims from Hosur and Ananthpur can make use of the Haj Ghar that is under construction at Yelahanka in Bangalore. Otherwise, they had to undertake long journeys to either Chennai or Hyderabad to perform their pilgrimage incurring additional costs and this facility will benefit Muslims in these states as well.
Islam also took pot-shots at report submitted by Anwar Manippady, former chairman of Karnataka State Minorities Commission on alleged irregularities in handling Wakf properties in the state. Describing the report as one filled with malaise and not facts, the minister said, “He (Anwar) has submitted some report, which has dragged the name of every respectable Muslim leader in the state and showed them in poor light for political gains,” he noted.