Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband has found itself freshly linked to Islamic terror, something it has been struggling to shrug off for a long time.
In its report ‘Combatting Terrorism’, the administrative reforms committee headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily said (Jaish-e-Mohammad chief) Masood Azhar “interacted extensively with the leading figures of the Deoband Ulema” in 1994.
“No terrorist has ever set soil on our campus. This is a very serious allegation. The Prime Minister has to explain who Masood Azhar had met and where,” Marghuboor Rahman, Darul Uloom’s 85-year-old rector told HT.
Pointing out the report, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar on Friday demanded a ban on the seminary.
Recently India had objected to Pakistan’s suggestion at the UN that Darul Uloom exercised influence over Pakistani jihadis, stating that it was a “respected institution of the country”.
But the seminary has been under the scanner since 9/11, as several jihadi organisations have identified themselves as Deobandi — a puritanical school of Islamic thought followed widely in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
However, Darul vice-rector A.K. Madrasi said the seminary could not be held responsible for the actions of those subscribing to its ideology.