New Haven, Connecticut, May 24, 2017: A Connecticut imam has been detained by U.S. immigration agents and faces deportation to Pakistan.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Hafiz Abdul Hannan, the leader of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in New Haven since 2013, was taken into custody at his home on Friday.
He was previously convicted of committing fraud in immigration documents and will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States, said Shawn Neudauer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.
Hannan previously served as a chaplain for the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica, Massachusetts. He also was the leader of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
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He was one of 33 people arrested in 2006 in a nationwide investigation into immigrants who filled out phony applications for religious workers’ visas. At the time, leaders of the Islamic community in Massachusetts said the problem was an administrative error.
It was not immediately clear whether Hannan is represented by an attorney who can comment on his case.
A posting on the mosque’s website asks community members not to speak to the media about the situation.
Mosque leaders “will make a statement if deemed necessary with more insight into the situation,” it reads. (VOA)
Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices
As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence
Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan
Death is said to be a great leveller. But the tragedy struck to some section of society in Muslim-dominated Pakistan is altogether different.
Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices. People who can’t even afford to travel, they have no option but to bury the mortal remains of their near and dear ones.
As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence. But with the passage of time, they vanished in the thin air of the terror-torn nation. Even in areas lying in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where about 35,000 Hindus and Sikhs live, the cremation grounds are also rare.
The law of the land is non-existent for the minorities communities like Hindu’s and Sikh’s. Without taking no-objection certificate, people from these communities can’t move an inch even. The grief-stricken families have to wait for the clearances, as they are left with no other option.
For Hindus in Pakistan, there is no cremation ground (Shamshan Ghat) in Peshawar. They have to travel 130 KM to cremate according to Hindu rituals. Hindus have been demanding for a crematorium, but to no avail:https://t.co/Ki2VW43I1l
People are forced to travel long distances to cremate their relatives from the areas like Swat Bannu, Kohat, Malakand etc. The cost to travel such long distances ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 and on the top of it, the fear of robbery during these travels cannot be ruled out. Not all the Hindu families can afford to perform the last rites in the manner they want.
Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan. The minority communities are compelled to bury the dead because cremation grounds are vanishing fast in Pakistan.
Although, the administration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allowed the minorities communities to perform cremation near temples. But most of the temples are built on the agricultural lands and commercial areas, which have already been encroached upon by land mafia.
There are a lot of Hindu family residing in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area.
Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long.
After much of the protests, finally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started building the facility from the chief minister’s fund, as per some government sources.
There are almost 50,000 Sikhs and Hindus in Peshawar. And unfortunately, due to lack of proper facilities, people over there are also facing the same situation what others are facing in areas like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To expect some kind of generosity from the war-torn state like Pakistan is out of the way. Instead of spending extravagantly on the military expansion, Pakistan should come forward and full-fill the basic amenities for the citizen of its country. It’s the people who make the country and not the other way round.