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Foreign funding to build mosques in India

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The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh recently made headlines by registering an FIR against 10 suspected terrorists on October 11, 2023. The individuals, including Adil ur Rahman Ashrafi, Abu Hurairah Ghazi, Sheikh Nazibul Haq, Mohammad Rashid, Kafiluddin, Azeem, Abdul Awwal, Abu Saleh, Abdul Gaffar, and Abdullah Ghazi, stand accused of involvement in a complex web of illicit activities. According to the UP ATS, these individuals were reportedly engaged in illegal fundraising from abroad to finance mosque construction in India, settling Rohingya and Bangladeshi citizens within the country, and perpetrating anti-national activities.

One striking aspect of this case is the purported affiliation of the majority of the arrested conspirators with Darul Uloom of Deoband, a prominent Islamic seminary in India. Among the accused, Abdul Awwal, a resident of Delhi, allegedly obtained fraudulent documents from individuals residing in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Assam, subsequently utilizing these to open bank accounts. These accounts were then transferred into the control of Abdul Gaffar, also from Delhi, who purportedly solicited funds from foreign sources.

Abu Saleh, another individual implicated in the case, was reportedly aiding Gaffar in the procurement and handling of these foreign funds directed into the aforementioned bank accounts. The orchestrated operation points to a networked effort involving multiple individuals, each playing a distinct role in the alleged unlawful financial transactions.

The accusations and revelations surrounding this case have sparked concerns about the misuse of religious institutions for illicit activities and the potential threat posed by such networks. The allegations of utilizing funds sourced from abroad for constructing mosques and settling individuals from other nations within India have raised alarms regarding national security and the integrity of religious institutions.

Moreover, the purported involvement of individuals associated with Darul Uloom of Deoband has brought attention to the need for stringent monitoring and regulation of educational and religious institutions to prevent their exploitation for clandestine purposes.

While the investigation is ongoing and all accused individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty, the case underscores the imperative for robust measures to curb the flow of illicit funds and prevent the misuse of religious and educational establishments for unlawful activities. It also emphasizes the significance of international cooperation in tracing and curbing the channels through which illegal funds are transferred across borders to fuel such activities.(pic credit by opindia)

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