Gurugram: Rubbishing claims of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that a mosque in Haryana’s Palwal district had been allegedly built with funds from terrorist Hafiz Saeed led-Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), locals said that wasn’t the case at all. Village headman Ramesh Prajapati of Palwal’s Uttawar told ANI on Monday that the land that Khulafa-e-Rashideen Masjid was built on was “legal and people from many villages had funded the construction of this mosque.” Also Read - Netizens After Another Earthquake Jolts Delhi-Gurugram: 'Apun Toh Aadha Kabar Mein Hai'

Earlier, reports had also said that NIA had arrested three men; Mohammed Salman (the imam of the masjid), Mohammed Salim and Sajjad Abdul Wani in the alleged terror-funding case. Before arresting the three, it also searched the Khulafa-e-Rashideen masjid. The team was questioning the mosque officials and checking the account books, details of donations and documents seized. Also Read - Increased Testing, Early Hospitalisation Can Curb COVID-19 in Delhi-NCR: Home Minister Shah

The three men were arrested on September 26 for allegedly receiving terror funding from Lahore-based Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), which belongs to Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar’s parent organisation. An NIA officer said, “Salman, who came in touch with LeT-associated men when he was in Dubai, had been receiving funds from FIF. The organisation, we have learnt, gave him Rs 70 lakh to build a mosque in Uttawar. It even gave him money for the marriage of his daughters. We are now probing from where the mosque has been receiving its donations and how this money is being used.” Also Read - Schools in Haryana to Reopen From July 27; Colleges, Universities to Remain Closed Till Month-end

There had also been reports that Saeed was funding economically backward families in India to build a cadre base here. Sources had told DNA that FIF, an arm of JuD, was giving financial aid to poor families for marriages of girls and building houses. “They are building cadre eventually to recruit vulnerable youth,” said a senior NIA officer. The FIF has been banned and was designated as a terrorist entity by the USA in 2010. The NIA claimed this was the new ‘modus operandi’ of the JuD. “The FII has several centres in Pakistan and is headquartered in Lahore. We have found its operations for India is managed from Dubai,” said a source.