Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma shows no lethargy regarding the state’s security. In August 2022, three Madrasas were demolished due to their links with terrorist organizations. While ignoring the terror links argument, several Muslim outfits are trying to polarize the situation, by calling it an election tactic as the general elections approach in 2024.
Assam, a crucial north-eastern bordering state has a lot on its plate including illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, frequent floods, land disputes with Nagas, and terror activities. But one of the major alarming issues is terror linked to Madrasas, a place where kids from the Muslim community go for education. Adding to the situation, anti-CAA protests have resumed in Assam after a two-year gap.
On 4th August 2022, a madrasa was demolished in Marigaon, Assam, under UAPA & Disaster management act. A week prior to the demolition, Maulvi (Islamic Teacher) Mufti Mustafa, who was running the Jamiul Huda Madrasa was arrested over his links with Al-Qaeda & Ansarullah Bangla Team (Bangladeshi terror organization).
The same terrorist outfits are also reported to have links with recently arrested maulvis teaching in Barpeta district’s madrasa. Brothers namely, Akbar Ali and Abul Kalam Azad, were arrested and their madrasa was demolished on 29th August. In continuation of the trend, Goalpara police arrested Hafizur Rehman Mufti on 31st August citing his alleged connections with the Bangladeshi terror outfits.
The recent demolitions by the Assam administration have reignited the Madarasa debate. Given the fact that teachers wield huge influence in a child’s life, the situation becomes worrisome when a maulvi of a madrassa is caught for alleged terror links.
Ignoring the terror links of the maulvis, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) president Badruddin Ajmal gave it a communal color. Ajmal accused the BJP government in Assam of foul play and termed the demolition an act of intimidating Muslim votes in the runup-to 2024 general elections. Talking to the news agency ANI, Ajmal said that ‘Madrasas have a great contribution in making the country independent. The Ulamas of these madrasas had driven the British out of here. The people of madrasas had made Gandhi Ji, the Gandhi. Don’t ignore these madrasas (sic).’
Conveniently ignoring terror links of arrested maulvis, he further said that Madrasas help impart general education in addition to religious education.
BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami replied to the AIUDF president’s attack by taking a dig at him and asking him the reasons for his pain at the demolition of places with terror links. Probing further, he questioned Ajmal for his support of ‘Jihadi’ activities and appealed Assam government about taking stringent action against Ajmal.
In early August, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam is becoming the hotbed of Bangladeshi terror outfits. Also, 30 people were arrested for having connections with AL-Qaeda & Ansarullah Bangla Teams and most of them are either preachers (maulvi) of mosques or have a connection with madrasas. Assam government had earlier closed down all state-run madrasas making the education system secular. Although this didn’t apply to private madrasas which now are proven to have terrorist links.
Here it is important to mention that the ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ radical mentality is nurtured and nourished inside madrasas by terror-linked maulvi’s (preachers). Moreover, the population explosion, being noticed within the border states from a particular community indicates illegal immigration. It is time that state governments take this threat seriously and implement strong measures to curb this menace effectively.