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Pressure mounts on Allah Ditta over invoice mystery
PRESSURE is mounting on Allah Ditta after a charity which runs Worcester’s Muslim cemetery admitted it had no idea why he was demanding cash from a family whose relative is buried there.
Yesterday we revealed how Mr Ditta had threatened to “dig up” the body of Monuhor Ali in a row with his family over a disputed £400 maintenance bill (listen to the recording below) .
The family deny owing any money to the Worcester Muslim Welfare Association, which leases the land from the city council, and say they have carried out any maintenance work themselves.
Now the family has produced an invoice handed to them by Mr Ditta – who is chairman of the association’s Worcester Muslim Cemetery Committee – a few days before the row.
The invoice is headed Worcester Muslim Funeral Services , which is neither a registered charity nor a company, and has no address or website.
Yesterday the chairman of the association Haris Saleem could not be contacted, but other members of the association, which was founded in 1978 and is a registered charity, distanced themselves from Mr Ditta’s demands for money.
All burials at the Muslim cemetery are carried out by the city council. Mr Ali’s family have paid a £625 burial fee to the council to cover this.
A spokesman for the association said it did not charge families anything, as it was up to families to maintain graves themselves. “We don’t issue invoices and never have done. We’ve got no idea where this has come from at all, it’s not from us.”
He said a team of volunteers regularly tends to the communal areas of the cemetery, but that work is done for free.
The invoice says the bill is for burial services, but Mr Ditta maintains the bill is genuine and is for maintenance services. He said: “Of course it was genuine work. We’ve had six people working on the grave. I am telling you, work has been done on it.
“Maybe I should not have said what I did in the heat of the moment though.”
The invoice carries a name – not Mr Ditta’s – and a telephone number and e-mail address at the bottom, but the number has not been answered since Tuesday and nobody has replied to a Worcester News e-mail.
The invoice does not give any details about the work being billed for, or give details about how the bill can be paid. It also suggests Mr Ali died on June 14, when it was actually the following day.
Mr Ali, a father-of-seven died in June, aged 74. His grave is tended by his son Ruhal Hussain and other family members.
Mr Hussain, aged 41, said: “No work has been done by anyone other than the council and my family. We are refusing to pay Mr Ditta, there’s no way we will.”
A spokesman for the city council said: “The management of the site is entirely the responsibility of the Muslim Welfare Association.
"When requested, the city council has carried out grave-digging and legal administration work on behalf of bereaved families.”
- Listen to the controversial audio below. Warning: Bad language .