80 Madrassas Under the Scanner for an Alleged Rs 100 Crore Foreign Funding

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The SIT might seek the help of central agencies like IB and R&AW, if needed, to track the sources and spending of funds from abroad.

Team Clarion

LUCKNOW — The three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the financial sources of madrassas in Uttar Pradesh has alleged that 80 seminaries in the state received nearly Rs 100 crore as donations from several countries over the past two years.

A senior official involved in the probe claims that in several cases foreign remittances were deposited directly into the bank accounts of societies and NGOs managing these madrassas, media reports said on Thursday.

The SIT, headed by the Additional Director General at the Anti-Terrorist Squad, Mohit Agarwal, also comprises the Director of the Minority Welfare Department and the Superintendent of Police, Cyber Cell.

The SIT is now trying to identify the heads under which the alleged foreign funds were used by the madrassas and if any irregularities are involved.

Out of the approximate 25,000 madrassas in the state, more than 16,500 are recognised by the UP Board of Madrassa Education.

“We will see how the money received through foreign funding has been spent. The brief is to check if the money is being used to run madrassas or for any other activities,” Agarwal was quoted by the Times of India as saying.

The madrassas under the SIT scrutiny are located in various parts of the state, including Bahraich, Siddharth Nagar, Saharanpur, Azamgarh and Rampur. Agarwal claimed that remittances from abroad were sent to bank accounts from various locations around the world, particularly the Middle East, London and Dubai.

“We will seek information from the caretakers of the madrassas about those who sent the money. If necessary, we will seek assistance from central agencies such as R&AW and IB to gather details. A report will be sent to central agencies for cooperation,” The Indian Express quoted a senior official as saying.

The SIT has also decided to seek information from these madrassas on how they spent the foreign funds. “They will be asked to provide bills and other documents to show how they spent the money,” the officer said.

Last year, a state government survey found out that 8,449 madrassas were operating without recognition from the Madrasa Board. Most of them were in Moradabad district.

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