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Handover Ismail Yusuf College land to Muslims: Abu Asim Azmi

Tuesday March 19, 2013 02:39:10 PM, Hena Farhat,

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Mumbai: Maharashtra State legislator and Samajwadi Party Maharashtra Chief Abu Asim Azmi on Monday accused the state government of deceiving the Muslims and demanded handing over of the Ismail Yusuf College land to Muslims.


"You had promised in 1999 that the Ismail Yusuf College land would be handed over to the Muslim community. But till now this promise has not been fulfilled", Azmi said while participating in a debate on the governor's address in Maharashtra Assembly.


"Sir Mohd Yusuf had donated a huge money to purchase this land so that a college of higher education could be built for the community. This land should immediately be handed over to the Muslims", he said.


Muslim community leaders are demanding since more than two decades the land of Ismail Yusuf College which is encroached and handed over to others.


The idea of a college for Muslims was mooted by Sir Mohammad Ismail Yusuf who in January 1910 donated a whopping Rs. 0.8mn to then State of Bombay with a condition to establish a college which should be primarily for Muslims though, he said, students belonging to other religious communities could also be given admissions.


The idea began taking shape by March 1924 and the college, one among the four affiliated to University of Mumbai by then, finally started functioning in1930.


Till 1975 the college was the favourite institution for Muslim students especially those from places like Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Malegaon, and also from countries like Afghanistan and Sudan.


However situation began slipping out of control later on. First, due to the government’s negligence, encroachers and slum dwellers illegally took whatever size of the land they could in their possession. Later on, a considerable size bisecting the land under the college control was used for the construction of Western Express Highway.


If it was not enough, part of the remaining land was granted by none other than the government itself to a private society to establish what is known today as Arvind Gandbhir High School and also for constructing a housing society. By the time the Muslims realised the losses the community had incurred, the Ismail Yusuf campus which was originally spread over 120 acres of land, shrunk to about 54 acres.

A stunned community knocked the government’s doors to get the land clear of encroachments and to bring the campus under the control of a Muslim trust. When repeated requests to the government proved fruitless, lawsuits were also filed in court.


Meanwhile, differences on who should get control of the campus surfaced between Anjuman-e-Islam, a Pune based Muslim Trust and the one led by some ex-students of the college. Due to the infighting between the three groups neither the lawsuit pending in the court saw a final verdict nor did the government care to take any decision to resolve the issue.

However, it has now been transpired that unanimity has emerged between the three groups. The Pune based trust has backtracked from its claim and the group led by the ex-students of the college also doesn’t have any objection if the control of the campus is handed over to Anjuman-e-Islam.


The Anjuman along with Sir Mohammed Yusuf Family Trust is already involved following a court settlement in the affairs of the college, though limited only to the admission process. One of the largest Muslim NGOs, the Anjuman also has to its credit a successful record of running the chain of reputed institutions under its control.


Community elites believe, if Ismail Yusuf College and the adjoining land are handed over to the Anjuman, institutions of higher education can come up in the campus which could then be used in more effective way for the betterment of the people in general and Muslims in particular.











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