Syed Ali Mujtaba
Guwahati: In a span of four weeks, three Madarsa in Assam have been razed to the ground for alleged terror links even as the state is preparing a master directory of all madrasas being run in the state.
These demolitions happened after 37 Muslims were arrested over their alleged misuse of the Madarsa premises for carrying out ‘jihadi’ activities since March 2022, a fact that could be contested.
The first Madarsa to be demolished was on August 4, by the name Jamiul Huda Academy at Moirabari in Morigaon district of Assam. The second to be demolished was on August 29 which bore the same name as the first and was located at Howli in the Barpeta district. The third to be demolished was Markazul Ma-Arif Quariayana Madarsa located in village Kabaitary Part-IV under Jogighopa police station limits in Assam’s Bongaigaon district which took place on August 31.
All these madrasas were demolished with the use of excavators and bulldozers that pulled down the concrete structure of the buildings and razed them to the ground.
“The madrasa building was on government land and being used for “anti-national activities,” said Lachit Kumar Das, Additional Deputy Commissioner of police Bongaigaon.
Another version is “We received an order that the structure was hazardous for inhabitants and hence the Madrasa buildings were demolished as per an order from the district disaster management authority and the Deputy Commissioner,” said Swapnaneel Deka, Superintendent of police (SP) Bongaigaon.
The demolition of the Madarsa follows an announcement made by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who said that his government will be screening all Islamic preachers coming to the state and also prepare a directory of all the Madarsa in the state.
In this connection, Goalpara police arrested Jeharul Islam, 35, an assistant teacher of the madrasa over his links with Al-Qaeda and the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). Another teacher, Hafizur Rahman Mufti, was arrested over his alleged links with Al-Qaeda and the ABT.
There is no voice of protest raised by any political party or pressure group against such a condemnable act. The lone exception was Congress MP Abdul Khalque from Barpeta who tweeted; “I strongly condemn demolition of Kabaitari Qariana Madrassa of Bongaigaon district.”
Madarsa is a place of religious learning for Muslim students. There may be some people misusing such premises, and arresting such people is a commendable act, but the demolition of the Madarsa does not stand to the test of reason, except for the fact this act is meant to target the Muslim community for its acts of omission and commission.