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Foreign funds probe: Kerala trust under lens for links to AFMI-run school in Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur

According to the Vadodara police, the Kerala-based trust is the owner of the land on which the AFMI trust runs a school in the tribal district of Chhota Udepur.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
Updated: November 20, 2021 8:32:09 pm
GujaratThe police are also probing if any sum from a total of Rs 80 crore -- of which close to Rs 60 crore is alleged to be a hawala transaction from Dubai -- was used for funding extremist activities. (Representative image)

A Kerala-based trust has come under the lens of the Vadodara Special Investigation Team (SIT) for its alleged links to AFMI, a city-based trust run by Salahuddin Sheikh, which is under probe for its alleged misuse of foreign funds and hawala transactions for “illegal Islamic activities”.

According to the Vadodara police, the Kerala-based trust is the owner of the land on which the AFMI trust runs a school in the tribal district of Chhota Udepur. Besides, the police are also probing if any sum from a total of Rs 80 crore — of which close to Rs 60 crore is alleged to be a hawala transaction from Dubai — was used for funding extremist activities.

Vadodara Commissioner of Police Shamsher Singh told The Indian Express the Vadodara SIT has been involved in the investigation of the trail of the funds received by AFMI through its foreign benefactors — a sum of Rs 19 crore — that was allegedly siphoned off to fund Islamic activities such as religious conversion, construction of mosques as well as to provide legal aid to protestors of CAA in New Delhi and accused in the case of Delhi riots.

“During the investigation, we have shared information with the Bharuch district police, too, which has booked a case in Amod for the alleged religious conversions of local tribals… We are also investigating the activities undertaken at the school the trust runs in Chhota Udepur. A trust based in Kerala has emerged as the owner of the land where AFMI has been running the school… Their role and involvement are under probe. We are also investigating if the money trail involves any extremist activities,” Singh said.

The police, who have also issued three summons to Majlis-e-Al-Fala Trust’s Abdullah Fefdawala — a Nabipur, Bharuch native but currently based in the UK, is now preparing to write to the Ministry of External Affairs to get him.

The Vadodara police have booked Sheikh and Umar Gautam under various sections of the IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (153A), knowingly causing disappearance of evidence of a crime (201), criminal breach of trust (406), forgery (465), forgery of a valuable security (467), forgery for the purpose of cheating (471), criminal conspiracy [120(B)], and crime in the presence of abettor (114).

The SIT has also issued summons to Dubai-based Mustafa Thanawala and Kiden Johar Dhoklawala to probe into the hawala transactions, in addition to the summons issued to Fefdawala.

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