The Saharanpur-based registrar of societies has asked Darul Uloom in Deoband to clarify its decision to appoint Abul Qasim Nomani as rector after firing his predecessor last July, a move that has prompted its clerics to allege “outside interference”.
As political parties pull out all stops to woo Muslims in poll-bound UP, Darul’s concerns over autonomy could trigger a row.
Although a minority institution empowered by the Constitution to autonomously manage its affairs, Darul Uloom is registered under the Societies Registration Act. The seat of Sunni Islam in India, Darul Uloom is fiercely opposed to any government oversight, including a proposal to bring seminaries under an omnibus state-run madrasa affiliation board.
Nomani was appointed after predecessor Ghulam Mohammed Vastani was sacked for allegedly praising chief minister Narendra Modi.
“There was a letter seeking facts regarding my appointment and we have answered it. Only the shoora (governing council) can decide on appointments, including for the post of mohtamim (rector),” Nomani said.
A senior cleric said the seminary would fight any outside move to question its decisions.