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ISI-funded mosques, madarsas on India-Nepal border raise serious security concerns
ISI-funded mosques, madarsas on India-Nepal border raise serious security concerns

New Delhi, Feb 6 (TIWN): The rising number of mosques and madarsas in the last three years along the Indo-Nepal border adjoining Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal is a matter of serious security concerns, intelligence agencies have warned in a latest report.

These religious setups have mushroomed within 10 km from the Nepal border and also across the border in the Nepal side, leading to demographic change in some parts of the border areas in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the report has said.  Quoting intelligence inputs, officials said that in the last three years, the number of mosques has gone up from 760 in 2018 to 1,000 in 2021, while the number of madrasas has risen from 508 in 2018 to 645 in 2021 in Nepali territories, officials said. 

The sources in the security grid said that these religious setups are being been funded by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other anti-India organistions working abroad.  The officials in the security forces have admitted that the size and grandeur of these mosques and madrasas itself indicate foreign fundings, and apart from the ISI, these religious houses also get fundings from Arab countries.  The security officials deployed on the India-Nepal border said that these centres have been instigating anti-India sentiments and they also give shelter to criminals active in the border areas of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. 

"These areas have also seen a spurt of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and narcotics, and there is no extradition treaty agreement with Nepal," a government official said.  Officials in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar governments have also admitted that criminals often take shelter in these religious places after committing crimes as the India-Nepal border is unfenced and porous.  The Integrated Check Posts have been set up on the major roads but the village roads leading to Nepal are unguarded, they added.  India shares 1,751-km borders with Nepal along Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim, while Uttar Pradesh shares a 570-km border with Nepal and has 35 border police stations. Similarly, Bihar and West Bengal also share 726 km and 100 km border with Nepal, respectively.  "The majority of construction of mosques, madrasas and mosque-cum-madrasas have been flagged in Uttar Pradesh's border districts of Maharajganj, Siddharth Nagar, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti, Pilibhit and Khiri, while Kishanganj and Araria in Bihar and Panitanki town of Darjeeling district in West Bengal have seen such rise in last three years," an official in the central security grid said.

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