Thursday, October 23, 2014

BSF, SSB to keep EYE on Madrasas, Mosques along border: MHA

Vijaita Singh | New Delhi- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Border Security Force (BSF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) posted along the Bangladesh and Nepal borders to gather intelligence about the “radicalisation of young men” in madrasas and mosques that have come up in these areas. Three states — West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh — have been asked to submit details about the funding pattern of these religious institutions and mosques, sources said.
In a meeting held in July this year, MHA asked the border guarding agencies to keep a vigil on these religious institutions and the activities they were involved in.
A senior official said that when West Bengal was asked to give details about the funding pattern of these religious institutions, the state government said it did not have any mechanism to trace the foreign contributions made to these places. “There are lots of unregulated madrasas in West Bengal, Bihar and UP. And we have asked these states to submit a report,” an MHA official said.
The Research and Analysis Wing is monitoring the funding of these religious places on the other side of the border, said an official.
After the recent Burdwan blasts, the National Investigation Agency alleged that the accused belonging to the Bangladesh-based terrorist outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh were “radicalised in violent jihadi ideology” at Simulia madarsa in Burdwan.
“There is a committee comprising intelligence officials and state government in MHA that regularly meets to discuss issues pertaining to religious places in bordering areas. A system is being put in place where active participation from state governments is also required,” an official said. A senior official said there were inputs that mosques in bordering areas in Bangladesh were being funded from Middle East countries.
“BSF and SSB have been asked only to gather local intelligence and nothing beyond that. Though the number of these madrasas have stabilised for now, the activities here are still a matter of concern,” said the official.
India had also raised the issue during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Nepal last month.

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