After several madarsas in Assam were found to have links with jihadi terrorists, the Assam govt has formulated several rules to be followed by the Islamic schools. After the Assam govt closed all govt run madarsas and converted them to general schools, only privately run madarsas are there in the state now, and in recent weeks several of them have come under scanner, and three of them were demolished after their links with Bangladesh based Ansarullah Bangla Team and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent emerged.
Today the Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta held a meeting with representatives of Muslim groups to discuss the matter and sought their support in the crackdown on jihadi modules, some of which are being run from mosques and madarsas.
“Today, we met with the Islamic organizations across the state. Without their cooperation, we couldn’t bust Al-Qaeda and ABT modules in the state. We urged them to extend their support, and cooperation and they also assured us of their support,” the DGP said after the meeting.
DGP Mahanta also informed new directions from the government to the madarsas, saying that while there are over a thousand private or quami madarsas in the state, they operate under their own rules and there is no common rules. As the state government had already announced, he said that a portal for registering the madarsas will be launched soon, where they will have to upload their details.
He said that the information required to be uploaded will include various details of the madarsas like the details of teachers and founders, sources of funds, how the land was obtained etc. Talking about the nature of the portal that Assam Police is launching, he said, “We want to create a master directory of all the madrasas being run in Assam. It is a tough job, as many of them are unregistered & unauthorised. Our objective is to prevent anti-India, Jihadi elements from utilizing the madrasas for their nefarious fundamentalist purposes.”
He also said there are many small madarsas set up by individuals that do not have any governing board, and the government will request the community leaders to consider merging them with larger institutionalised madarsas.
DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta also said that he asked the Muslim leaders to include general subjects like mathematics, science, computers, geography, history etc in madarsas apart from religious subjects. He added that the community leaders have agreed to this suggestion.
He informed that there are 739 madarsas in the state registered under Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, while more than 200 madarsas are not registered. He added that even among the madarsas registered under Jamiat, many of them are not following the rules and regulations of the Islamic body, and the time has come for strict implementation of those rules.
The DGP said that while Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind had formulated rules, there is no mechanism to monitor the implementation of those rules. Moreover, there are some other Muslim organisations that run madarsas, but the govt does not have their rules and regulations. He said that all the organisations have been asked to upload their rules and regulations on the soon-to-be-launched portal. The Islamic organisations agreed with it but said that they need some time to organise the rules properly.
Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta added that while there is a need to implement the rules, there is also a need to amend the rules to add new provisions. These new rules that needed to be inserted were discussed in the meeting, and the representatives of the groups agreed to the same. They were also asked to register the unregistered madarsas in Assam.
Talking about Jihadi modules running from madarsas, the DGP said, “There is an international conspiracy by Al Qaida, ISI-like rogue organisations to turn Assam into their Jehadi playground. Our approach to tackling this menace.”
“Today, we met with four Islamic organizations across the state. Without their cooperation, we couldn’t bust Al-Qaeda and ABT modules in the state. We urged them to extend their support, and cooperation and they also assured us of their support,” he added.
The Muslim leaders said that only some people are involved in jihadi activities, and the organisations will cooperate with the govt in busting them. “People associated with some madrasas and mosques are involved in anti-national activities. The four major Islamic organizations have come forward to help the Assam Police to eradicate this problem from Assam,” said Maulana Abdul Qadir, secretary, Tanzim Council, which runs the majority of madrasas in Assam.
Qadir said that a survey of the madarsas will be done within next 6 months, and added they will cooperate with the police. “We will not accept anyone doing wrong in the name of religion. We support the cooperation sought by the police,” he said.
More than 100 religious leaders of four Islamic organisations, Assam State Jamiat Ulema E Hind, All Assam Tanzim Madaris Qaumia, Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith and Hale Sunnat were present at the meeting chaired by the DGP.
So far around 40 people have been arrested from various madarsas in Assam for links with the Islamic terror groups. This started after several terror modules of the Ansarullah Bangla Team and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent were found to be operating from madarsas, and it was found that Bangladesh-origin terrorists were living in the madarsas and mosques as teachers and imams. So far three madarsas have been demolished, and many more are under the scanner of the police.
Last month Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam becoming a hotbed of jihadi activities as several jihadi modules were busted from madarsas. He said that the goal of the modules is not terror activities, but to indoctrinate a maximum number of youths to create large-scale violence in future demanding Sharia law. Therefore, while no weapons were found with the arrested persons, jihadi literature and sophisticated communication devices were found from them.