A mosque in Haryana’s Palwal district, just a couple of hours from Delhi, has been funded by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as per National Investigative Agency (NIA).
The Khulafa-e-Rashideen masjid at Uttawar village, was searched by NIA officers on October 3, days after the agency arrested three men, including the Imam of the masjid, Mohammed Salman, in New Delhi in a terror-funding case, reports Indian Express.
Salman (52, native of Uttawar village), Mohammed Salim (native of Delhi) and Sajjad Abdul Wani (native of Kashmir) were arrested from Delhi on September 26 for receiving funding from Lahore-based Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), a front NGO of Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar’s parent organisation. NIA had seized around Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 43,000 in Nepali currency from the 3 accused.
LeT is proscribed under Bharat’s anti-terror UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) law, while FIF is placed on the list of terrorist organisations as per entry 33 in the First Schedule to the UAPA read with UN’s Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism (Implementation of Security Council Resolutions) Order 2016.
A look at Uttawar village on Google map shows atleast 6 mosques and 1 madrasa in the area, and only one temple –
As per NIA, Salman was earlier involved in taxi and dairy product businesses but had incurred After he went to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage and visited Dubai a few years back, he met a few Pakistani LeT operatives and thereafter started receiving FIF funds through hawala. The organisations gave him Rs. 70 lakhs to build the mosque in Uttawar, and also gave money for his daughters’ marriage.
Villagers are in denial about Mohammed Salman’s role. They claim he comes from a ‘reputed’ family – his late father, Maulvi Dawood, is well-regarded among Muslims in the Mewat region. He migrated to Delhi more than 50 years ago and was an Imam of a significant mosque in Nizamuddin till his death. Hence Salman was also looked upon as an authority on Islam.
On Friday, the NIA also raided a Kashmiri shawl shop in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi and a house in connection with its probe into the case – several incriminating documents and Rs 18 lakh in cash apart from six mobile phones were recovered. The premises belong to Hilal Ahmed Rather, a Kashmiri. It is suspected that Hilal was running the shop as a front to launder FIF money. Hilal’s name cropped up when Salman and Sajjad Wani, were questioned.
Palwal has 20% Muslim population and is adjacent to Muslim-majority Nuh district – both form part of the historical Mewat region, which is also the hub of the deadly cattle smuggling mafia.
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