New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday claimed that its probe had found that the Khulafa-e-Rashideen mosque in Palwal , Haryana was built using the funds received from a Pakistan based terror organisation.
The residents, including the village head, however denied the NIA claim saying the mosque was actually built by the money donated by the villagers and local people.
According to reports, Masjid Khulafa-e-Rashideen at Uttawar village in Palwal, Haryana was searched by NIA officers on October 3.
The NIA search was carried after the agency arrested Mohammed Salman, Mohammed Salim and Sajjad Abdul Wani on September 26 for allegedly receiving terror funding from Lahore-based Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), an NGO set up by Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba’s parent organisation.
Villagers, including the village head Ramesh Prajapati, denied the claims made by the NIA.
“The land has been obtained legally and people from many villages have funded the construction of this mosque," Ramesh Prajapati, the headman of Uttawar village, is quoted by news agency ANI.
Residence of Palwal's Uttawar village says that Khulafa-e-Rashideen Masjid in the village is not funded by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as said by NIA. "The land is legal & people from many villages have funded construction of this mosque,"Ramesh Prajapati, Village headman #Haryana pic.twitter.com/uBno9RtSEP— ANI (@ANI) October 15, 2018
Earlier, talking to The Indian Express, villagers said the entire story of alleged terror funding is the result of a court battle between the villagers and some families squatting on the mosque land.
“Because we are trying to evict them, it appears someone has given this wrong information to the police. No one in the village can believe such a thing. Salman comes from a very reputed family in the village. No one from his family has ever had a criminal case against them,” Khalid Hussain, the son of former Uttawar Sarpanch, Akhtar Hussain, is quoted by The Indian Express.
“In Islam, betraying the nation is a sin. Hafiz Saeed is a foreigner. A God-fearing man like Salman would never align with him,” Mohammed Salman’s cousin Yaqub (77) said.
Uttawar residents also said that Salman’s 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 famous mosque in Nizamuddin till his death. For Uttawar, he was an authority on Islam and had the final say in all disputes in the village. He had imparted the same knowledge to his oldest son Salman, the villagers said.
“That is why when in 2009 the village earmarked 10 acres for the mosque and the work began the next year, Salman was not only made the in-charge of mosque construction and fund collection, but also its Imam. There was no one else in the village better suited for this because of his pedigree,” said Mohammed Saad, who runs the mosque Madarsa.
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