Assam government could regulate private madrassas: education minister
The Assam government can regulate all private madrassas in the state under an existing law, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said on Wednesday.
The proposal is gaining momentum following the arrest of several madrassa teachers for their alleged links with terrorist groups.
“Although no concrete action has been taken so far, the government is considering bringing private seminaries under the control of the Non-Governmental Educational Institutions of Assam (Regulation and Management) Act 2006” , said Pegu.
When asked if private madrassas would be monitored, he replied: “We had not studied the question until now. We already have a law on the control of non-governmental educational institutions. But, not all non-governmental schools are covered by this law at the moment. The government is gradually taking steps to subject all non-governmental educational institutions to this existing law for their regulation and control, the minister said.
“Whether these private madrassas fall into this category or not, we will consider in consultation with the legal department. So far nothing has been done, but we can consider it,” he added.
Police Director General Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said earlier this month that there are around 3,000 registered and unregistered private madrassas across Assam which are run by four main Muslim organisations.
Since April 1 last year, all 610 public madrassas in Assam have been converted into upper primary, secondary and higher schools with no change in the status, remuneration, allowances and terms of service of teaching staff and not a teacher.
A total of 42 people, many of them madrassa teachers, have been arrested across Assam since March this year for their alleged links to terrorist groups Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarullah Bangla. Team (ABT).
Mahanta had said that the government would launch a portal, in which all madrasas were to upload their relevant information such as location, names and addresses of teachers and salaries among others.
The police chief had also announced that a committee made up of representatives from the four madrassah watchdog organizations, which issue guidelines and programs, was to investigate state seminaries and propose ways to ensure the compliance with instructions.
After the arrest of madrassa teachers for their alleged links with terrorist groups, four such educational centers were demolished in as many districts of Assam.
In the districts of Morigaon, Barpeta and Bongaigaon, the respective district administrations demolished the structures in August following the arrest of teachers for their alleged links with “jihadist elements”.
Goalpara’s Darogar Alga Madrassa and a house on the same land were demolished on September 6 by villagers after alleged “jihadi” links emerged with two seminary teachers.