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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Minority panel’s action urged in Assam madrassa demolition


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New Delhi: A delegation from Assam led by MP Abdul Khaleque met National Commission for Minorities chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura over demolition of a ‘madrassa’ recently in Bongaigaon district and sought his intervention in the matter.

The delegation which called on Lalpura at his office on Monday, also submitted a memorandum to him in this regard terming the action of the state government as “blatant disregard to the rule of law”.

“The Markazul Ma-Arif Quariayana madrassa in Bongaigaon district was razed to the ground on August 31 following an order issued by the district administration in which it stated that the madrassa did not have the necessary documents to carry out multipurpose activities in a single campus with multiple buildings. It also mentioned that the madrassa was structurally vulnerable and unsafe for human habitation,” it said.

The lawmakers also accused the district administration that it did not give sufficient time to the 224 residential

students of the madrassa, who were mostly minor to vacate the premises.

“The students had to vacate the premises middle of the night, left with no shelter above their head as most of them were from far off places. It was also an act of inhumanity towards these minor students who have been denied the right to education by such an ‘unlawful’ action,” it said.

“The entire action is based on the backdrop of a teacher from the madrassa arrested recently for his alleged links with terror groups. The arrested teacher had already been suspended and the madrassa management extended full cooperation to the investigating agencies as they scanned the entire campus. But no incriminating documents were found in the premises during the searches by agencies.”

Attacking Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the matter, the delegation said, “The CM termed the madrassa as a ‘terrorist hub’. Had the said premises been a hub of terrorists, agencies should have found documents and more persons with link to terror groups. But they didn’t find anything of this sort. The due procedure of law needs to be followed in case of any person found to have links with terror outfits.”

In this case, the law was violated and misused thus bringing down the building under the garb of safety. In fact, two more madrassas, one each in Barpeta and Morigaon districts were demolished in the month of August, the lawmakers said.

Meanwhile, Khaleque said, “NCM Chairperson assured us that he will write to Chief Secretary of Assam to clarify on our petition within three weeks.”

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