Authorities in Assam on Wednesday demolished a madrassa in the Bongaigaon district after allegations that its premises were being used for terror activities.
Several bulldozers were seen conducting the demolition of the Markazul MaArif Quariayana Madrasa located at Kabaitary Part-IV village, which falls under Jogighopa Police Station. The Bongaigaon district administration deployed security personnel in force in the area.
This is the third madrasa to be razed by the Assam government following the arrests of 37 persons including the Imam and madrasa teachers on charges of being linked to terror outfits Al Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
There were reports that some militants disguised as religious teachers had sneaked into the state and silently gone ahead with their subversive and anti-state activities.
Last night, 224 students were evacuated from the two-storied building and another structure that housed the teaching and assistant staff of the madrassa.
On August 30, the Goalpara District police conducted a search operation and seized several key documents including one leaflet of terror Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) in Bengali language and one logo suspected to be of AQIS.
According to Swapnaneel Deka, Superintendent of Police, Bongaigaon district the district administration had in its order issued on August 30 stated that the Madrasa is structurally vulnerable and unsafe for human habitation as the madrasa buildings were not built “as per APWD specifications/ IS norms.”
“Yesterday, the Goalpara district police had also conducted a search operation along with an arrested person linked with AQIS/ABT in the madrasa. As per the direction of the district administration, we have started the process to demolish the Madrasa,” SP Deka said.
On August 30, the state government demolished another madrasa, Shaikhul Hind Mahmudul Hasan Jamiul Huda Islamic Academy at Dhakalipara area in Barpeta district on similar allegations and that the institute’s premise was found to be on government land.
“This institution is involved in anti-national activities, Jihadi outfits. We immediately came to the spot, verified the property, and found it to be on government land and did not find the owner. So we decided to demolish it immediately,” Lachit Kumar Das, Additional Deputy Commissioner said.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the madarsa management were not running the institution but were running a terrorist hub. “This is the second madrasa we evicted as they were not running as an institution but were running as a terrorist hub. I don’t want to generalise, but we investigate and take appropriate action when a complaint of fundamentalism comes,” Sarma had said.
Earlier this month the Jamiul Huda Madrasa in Moirabari area of the state’s Morigaon district was razed down.
Assam Police have also arrested two more persons linked with AQIS and ABT in Barpeta district on Monday morning. More than 30 persons have been arrested so far, besides busting a few Jihadi modules in the state.
Recently, Chief Minister Sarma said in a press conference that, six Bangladeshi nationals who are members of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) / Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), entered Assam in 2016-17 and Assam police had arrested one among them and five are still absconding.
For better surveillance, Assam Chief Minister reiterated that Islamic teachers coming into the state will be closely monitored and moreover the state was developing a portal where their details will be captured.
“We have laid down standard operating procedures. Locals must inform police if any religious teacher (Imam) coming outside of the state and are not known to them,” Sarma told reporters.
“Police will verify the person and then he can carry out his religious teaching in the Madrassas,” he said, adding that Muslims of Assam have been cooperating with the government in this process.
Assam currently doesn’t have any government-run madrassas as they have recently been converted into regular schools.
However, individual or privately-run madrassas continue to exist. (ANI)