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Thursday 9th of December 2021
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If you are a poor Shia Muslim, pray you don’t die in Lucknow

Skyrocketing land prices have not only made dwelling for the living difficult but even the dead ones are facing the pinch of spiraling rates in Lucknow. Prices for a grave in any Shia graveyard may ranges anywhere between Rs one thousand to one lakh.

A group of Shia Muslims raised the issue during a dharna at Shaheed Smarak in Lucknow on Monday. The protestors demanded that prices of graves should be reduced and the poor should be provided land for grave free of cost. "It is pathetic that graves are beyond the approach of common man in Lucknow. Getting land in any karbala or qabristan in Lucknow will cost around Rs 50,000-60,000," said Syed Naseer Hussain Rizvi, whose organisation Idara-e-Sakina staged dharna against the practice on Monday.

Shia Muslims have nine graveyards and Karbalas in Lucknow where they bury their dead. The major ones are Ghuframaab Ka Imambara, Imambara Agha Baqar, Talkatora Karbala, Malka Jahan Ka Karbala, Abbas Bagh Ka Karbala, Imdad Hussain Ka Karabala and three others. All these are under the control of Shia Central Board of Waqfs which appoints mutawalli for managing the daily affairs. Among them Ghuframaab Ka Imambara situated at Chowk crossing is the most sought one among Shias for burying their dead ones. The scramble thus has also resulted in high prices of graves in the Imambara. "It is hard to get a grave there in Ghuframmab Imambara. One has to shell more than Rs 50,000 for the land. It is thus beyond the reach of common Shias," said Naseer.

The spiralling prices also have given rise to another custom of advance booking of graves. Known as Hayati Qabr these graves are reserved for the persons who have purchased them. The space remains vacant waiting for his death and to be buried.

The organisation Idara-e-Sakina, which has waged a battle against the high prices of graves in Lucknow, began their movement in 2009. A demonstration was held on December 28, 2009 in Lucknow. However, things cooled down after the District Magistrate (DM) assured that suitable action will be taken in this regard. Even the prominent Shia clerics also came forward and denounced the black marketing of graves. They also demanded that there should be a nominal charge for the graves and the poor ones should be given the facility free for a decent burial.

“A year has passed but nothing has materialised. This issue is of great importance and we will not hesitate to stage violent protest for this cause," said Naseer.

Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, general secretary, All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) Maulana Yasoob Abbas termed the development as unfortunate and against the values of religion. "It is against Islam to sell land for graves at such a high prices. The poor has nowhere to go as he cannot afford such an exorbitant price for the grave. We have enough graveyards to meet the population's demand but they have been turned into business venture which is pathetic,” said Abbas.


source : http://www.abna.ir
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