Kashmir cleric demands probe in
’s funding to madrasas Delhi
Maulana Hami: We never applied for grants. It’s a plot to ban genuine madrasas. List includes non-existent schools. Govt officials have swindled Crores
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Within a day of the sensational disclosure that
had already released Rs 3.47 Cr in favaour of 362 Islamist madrasas in J&K for current year, Muttahida Ahl-e-Sunnat (MAS) today held an emergency meeting for a detailed discussion. The list of the beneficiary madrasas includes a number of schools operated by senior MAS functionary Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami’s organisation Karwaan-e-Islami. New Delhi
What precisely prompted Omar Abdullah government to make the list public through Commissioner-Secretary School Education, Mrs Naseema Lankar, is still unclear but it has clearly stirred a hornets’ nest as the beneficiaries include clergymen who have been issuing anti-Delhi statements on daily basis. At the end of today’s deliberations, MAS held a news conference and alleged that Government officials had swindled Crores of Rupees in the name of providing financial support to madrasas in J&K.
Head of MAS and Karwan-e-Islami, Maulana Hami, alleged that disclosure of the list of 362 beneficiary schools was a “sinister plot” to close down genuine Islamist schools in Jammu & Kashmir. He claimed that his Karwan-e-Islam had neither applied for Government funding for its madrasas nor planned it for the future. According to him, many of the madrasas figuring in the list had neither applied for the state or central funding nor received it. He complained that a number of schools, shown as the beneficiaries in the list, did not exist anywhere in Jammu & Kashmir.
Maulana Hami demanded thorough investigation into the entire episode but made it clear that his organisation would not object to the madrasas who believed in seeking and accepting funding from the state or the central government. However, he said, his organisation would approach J&K High Court to seek justice and get itself cleared from the highest judicial forum. He said that the organisation would engage a prominent Kashmiri lawyer to pursue its case assiduously in the court of law.
“As a matter of fact, fake Darul Ulooms have been provided Central Government grants through State Education Department. But we have never taken any money, even a single penny in past nor do we intend to seek it in future” Hami asserted. He said law should take its course against the “fake madrasas” not existing anywhere but taking government funding in league with officials. He said that money worth around Rs 7 Cr was believed to have been already withdrawn and swindled. “Government is bound to order and conduct a thorough investigation”, Hami said.
Maulani Hami urged the state and the central governments to also release the list of the madrasas who had already grabbed funds worth Rs 7 Cr in Jammu & Kashmir.
While the clergymen have tossed the ball back in the state government’s court and a clarification from Commissioner-Secretary School Education is still awaited, authoritative sources insisted that forging documents of the centrally sponsored scheme was “impossible”. They made it clear to Early Times that the applicant madrasas were bound to sign and file as many as eight different sets of forms while seeking Government of India’s funding under the Scheme for Providing Quality Education to Madrassas (SPQEM). These sources maintained that the grants had been sanctioned after a laborious official procedure for over seven months and same had been released with publicly notified terms and conditions.
Sources said that only the Minister and Commissioner-Secretary of School Education Department were authorized to explain as to how SPQEM funds had been sanctioned without constituting State Madrassa Board and seeking its mandatory recommendations. They claimed to have no knowledge when it was pointed out that villages like Ichhikoot (Budgam) and Kreeri (Baramulla) had just one or two madrassas but the state government’s list had shown six to eight madrassas functioning in each of such villages.