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Monday, March 4, 2024

Telangana: Congress govt funding meetings of ‘terror gateway’ org Tablighi Jamaat; HC issues notice

The Telangana government in December 2023 sanctioned a budget of Rs 2,45,93,847 for a three-day congregation of Tablighi Jamaat that took place at Nematnagar village in Pargi Mandal of Vikarabad district starting January 6.

In an order (GO-RT-123) issued by Secretary of Minority Welfare Syed Umar Jaleel, funds have been allocated across various departments to ensure the smooth conduct of the event. 

The Vikarabad district collector proposed an allocation of Rs 2,45,93,847 to provide various facilities at the congregation venue. The government specifically earmarked this amount for different departments to contribute to the successful organisation of the event.

As reported in The Siasat Daily, the Telangana government also allocated Rs 85 lakh for Mission Bhagiratha, which focuses on water supply and SUMP construction. An allocation of Rs 68 lakh has also been made for laying pipelines from ponds to the congregation site. The Panchayat Raj Engineering Department has received a budget of Rs 40 lakh to oversee the construction of roads and parking areas.

To ensure the efficient execution of these initiatives, the Waqf Board would release the allocated funds to the district collector, Vikarabad. The CEO of the Waqf Board has been designated as the nodal officer to oversee the timely completion of the proposed tasks.

Writ petition filed

A resident of Gadwal district, MD. Afsar Pasha filed a writ petition in the Telangana High Court on January 1, 2024, seeking the suspension of a government order sanctioning nearly Rs 2.5 crore to Tablighi Jamaat for an Islamic religious congregation in Vikarabad district. The petitioner questioned the Chief Secretary’s directive to release funds for civil works, citing concerns over the organisation’s previous congregation in Nirmal that led to communal violence. The petitioner highlighted the ban on Tablighi Jamaat by Russia and other countries, as well as a Money Laundering Act case against Maulana Saad in 2020. 

Telangana HC issues notice to state govt

On January 2, 2024, the Telangana High Court issued notices to the state government on the petition seeking the suspension of the GO. The notices were sent to the Secretary of the Minority Welfare Department, Chief Secretary, District Collector of Vikarabad, CEO of the State Waqf Board, and Tablighi Jamat. Earlier, the Chief Secretary instructed the CEO of the State Waqf Board to disburse the allocated funds to the District Collector of Vikarabad for carrying out essential civil works related to infrastructure and arrangements for the religious congregation. The court directed the authorities to file their counters by January 23, 2024, and adjourned the matter for further consideration.

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