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UP: Government cancels registration of madarsa after cleric prevents students from singing national anthem

The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adithyanath has decided to cancel the registration and derecognized a madarsa in Maharajganj district after a cleric allegedly prevented the students of the institution from singing the national anthem on Independence Day.

In the video that has been shared widely on social media, the cleric is seen saying the students to avoid singing the national anthem. He then goes on to say that it is not “jayaz” (permissible) in Islam. He is then seen asking students to sing ‘Sare jahan se acha’, even as a teacher protests against the cleric’s comments.

Following a probe, the state government has now decided to derecognise the madarsa and the Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Board has released immediate orders to suspend the licence and registration. Maulana Junaid Ansari and two others are reported to be under arrest on charges of sedition under Section 124-A and 153B (imputation assertion prejudicial to national integrity) for disrespecting the national anthem.

The government had asked for a report from the District Minority officer (DMO) after the incident. The board had earlier warned that it might cancel registration and other financial aid to modernisation of madrasa.

The Registrar of Madarsa Education Board, S N Pandey said that numbers of students in madarsa were less than what is required to be eligible for government aid and other benefits. “So its licence and registration stands suspended with immediate effect and in the next meeting of the Board, a proposal for its cancellation will be brought,” he noted.

U.P. Muslim Waqf and Haj Minister Mohsin Raza on Tuesday said that opposing the national anthem was an “anti-national act. Anyone opposing the national anthem will have to go to jail, be it a maulvi or pandit. There will be no compromise”.

This incident is not new in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Last year, Manzar-e-Islam, the biggest madarsa in Bareilly hoisted the Tiranga but did not sing the national anthem.

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