In a significant development, SIT has so far identified 80 madrasas of them which received more than Rs 100 crore as donations from several countries over the past two years.
Notably, a three-member SIT was set up to look into the financial sources of madrasas in Uttar Pradesh. Now, the SIT is trying to identify the head under which these funds were spent by the madrasas and if there were any irregularities thereon.
About the 80 madrasas that have been identified, the SIT is gathering information about the organisations and individuals who deposited the money into the bank accounts. The investigators also intend to determine whether the funds were meant for social causes or not.
Uttar Pradesh has around 24,000 madrasas, of which over 16,500 are recognized by the UP 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 madrassas or for any other activities,” said Mohit Agarwal, additional DG, ATS, who is heading the SIT.
It is pertinent to mention that the state government last year directed district magistrates to conduct a survey of unrecognised madrasas. During the two-month survey, 8,449 madrassas which were not recognised by the state madrasa education board were found to be functioning.
Apart from Lakhimpur Kheri, Pilibhit, Shravasti, Siddharthnagar and Bahraich adjacent to the Nepal border, over 1,000 madrasas are being run in many other nearby areas.
The SIT was formed after the number of madrasas in these areas has increased rapidly in the past few years as well as information was also received about these madrasas getting foreign funding.
Recently, the ATS has arrested three active members of a gang involved in 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.