Vastanvi keen to set up institutes in UP

Several educational institutes are run by the Muslim cleric in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Now he wants to set up institutes for educationally backward Muslims in the state

Gujarat's Muslim cleric Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi wants to set up institutes for the educationally backward Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

Vastanvi was in the news when he was removed by the Majlis-e-Shura of Deoband seminary from the post of vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, the second largest Islamic seminary in the world, for his alleged remarks favouring Modi, which he later disowned in

January 2011. Vastanvi is considered a cleric with a progressive outlook and emphasis on modern education. Several educational institutes are run by him in

Gujarat and Maharashtra. Vastnavi's efforts in the field of education has been acclaimed by the Maharashtra government. His insititutes include engineering colleges, pharmacy institutes and others imparting modern education.

Confirming the report, Vastanvi said: "UP is surely on my agenda. I will hopefully launch some institutions in the state. It is too early to set a timeline but it will be my next project."

He also stated that his efforts will be confined only to educational upliftment of the community. "My work is related to establishing educational institutes. I think it is better to spread education among the community," he added.

"My projects and institutions are there for everyone to see. I invite anyone to come and have a look at them in Gujarat. There is no harm if more educational institutes coming up for Muslims," he said. Vastanvi also did not see any harm in taking help from the government or meeting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. "If it is for a good cause I will surely interact with them. But everything is premature at this moment. But I will be soon coming to UP," Vastanvi added.

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