Thursday, October 23, 2014

West Bengal Madarsas under Mamata government scanner

Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata
With central agencies — investigating the October 2 blast in Burdwan — putting under scanner several kharezi (unrecognised) madrasas, the TMC government has now ordered an audit survey of all such institutions in the state.
The move is aimed at getting a clear picture about kharezi madrasas, including number of students being taught, kind of education imparted and their source of income.
Probing into the Burdwan blast case, NIA, NSG and ED have already visited and searched several madrasas.
While NIA has said the accused in the case were radicalised in “violent jihadi ideology” and allegedly belonged to Jamaat-e-Mujahideen Bangladesh, ED is trying to find out the source of funds of the suspected terrorists.
The Mamata Banerjee government’s move is reminiscent of one taken by her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in 2003, albeit with a difference. While Bhattacharjee had asked the Intelligence Branch (IB) of the state police to conduct the survey, the present government is roping in maulavis, imams and muazzems for information on the madrasas.
Mamata’s order was conveyed by Minister of State for Madrasa and Minority Affairs Giyasuddin Mollah to all the DMs and ADMs through a video conference at Writers’ Building Monday. Top officials of Mollah’s department were also present during the meeting.
“The situation is very complex now. All sort of allegations against madrasas are flying thick and fast. We feel there has to be an audit of the khareji madrasas and I told the DMs to do the job. I also told them to rope in the maulavis, imams, people involved with these madrasas and maktabs (elementary schools), to get the information. The report should be filed as soon as possible,” Mollah told The Indian Express.

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