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Yogi govt sets up SIT to probe foreign funding of madrasas

Lucknow, Dec 7, 2023- The Uttar Pradesh government has set up a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT), to look into the financial sources of madrasas in the state.

So far, 80 madrasas have been identified for receiving nearly Rs 100 crores as donations from several countries over the past two years.

Senior officials said that the SIT is now trying to identify the head under which these funds were spent by the madrasas and if there were any irregularities .

The state has around 24,000 madrasas, of which over 16,500 are recognized by the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa 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 madrasas or for any other activities,” said Mohit Agarwal, Additional DG, ATS, who is heading the SIT.

Agarwal said that no time frame has been mentioned by the state government yet to complete the probe.

Sources said that the SIT has already sought details of registered madrasas from its board.

The Yogi Adityanath government, last year, had directed District Magistrates to conduct a survey of unrecognised madrasas.

During the two-month survey, 8,449 madrasas which were not recognised by the state madrasa education board were found to be functioning.

Apart from Lakhimpur Kheri, Pilibhit, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar and Bahraich adjacent to the Nepal border, over 1,000 madrassas are being run in many other nearby areas. Sources said that the number of madrasas in these areas has increased rapidly in the past few years. Besides, information was also received about these madrasas getting foreign funding after which the SIT was formed.

The Minority Department probe has also revealed that many madrasas were receiving foreign funding.

Recently, the ATS has arrested three active members of a gang involved in the illegal entry of Bangladeshi citizens and Rohingyas. The investigation revealed that foreign funding of Rs 20 crore was received in three years through a Delhi-run NGO, which was being used to help them. (Agency)

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