JuD openly collecting donations, hides of animals despite ban

JuD openly collecting donations, hides of animals despite ban

The JuD has set up at least seven camps in Lahore -- including two on The Mall, the main thoroughfare of the eastern city and two more at Moon Market -- to collect funds and hides of sacrificial animals that are later sold to raise money for the group.

The camps are marked with large banners of the JuD or its front, the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, the 'Express Tribune' newspaper reported today.

The camps also have JuD's black and white flags featuring swords and are operating under the supervision of JuD activist Abu Hashim.

JuD is describing its fund-raising drive as the "Sailaab Mutasireen Qurbani Programme" (programme for sacrifices for flood victims) and has printed pamphlets which seek Rs 8,000 for the sacrifice of a goat, Rs 35,000 for a head of cattle and Rs 5,000 for a share in the sacrifice of a head of cattle.

"Helpless, crying, abandoned, defenceless and dependent humanity is waiting for your cooperation," reads a banner put up at one of the camps.

The Interior Ministry recently issued to provincial authorities a list of 16 militant or hardline groups – including the JuD, Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed – that have been barred from collecting donations or hides of sacrificial animals during the Eid-ul-Azha festival.

A senior police officer in Lahore told the Express Tribune that police had orders to stop the activities of banned groups.

These groups are not allowed to circulate their literature, hoist their flags or give lectures, he claimed.

However, an unnamed JuD activist at a camp in Lahore's Moon Market told the daily that he and his colleagues had been working under the banner of JuD and no policeman had ever questioned them.

"No one has asked us to remove flags or banners or to stop using the name Jamaat-ud-Dawah," he said.

Muhammad Adil, the head of another JuD camp at Hall Road, said police had asked them to take down the JuD flag and said they could continue collecting funds under the banner of the Falah-e-Insaniyat.

He said the JuD camps had been operating since August and had received several donations for the sacrifice of animals.

JuD will continue its work regardless of the ban, Adil said.

"God will protect us from any danger for we are working for His sake," he claimed.
Incidentally, the JuD is offering a sacrificial goat for almost half the price in Lahore's markets and Adil said this was because his group had bought hundreds of animals a month ago.

Another unnamed JuD activist said the group would set up a number of stalls across Lahore to collect hides.

Superintendent of Police Romail Akram told the newspaper that police had not received any "specific order" to remove the JuD camps though there was a general order to stop the activities of banned organisations.

Despite a crackdown on JuD and brief detention of its top leaders in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the Pakistan government has not yet issued a formal notification to ban the group.

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