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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Assam plans web portal to monitor madrassas

All madrassas in Assam will soon need to upload their locations, names and addresses of teachers, and other details, on a web portal designed to monitor them and prevent them from being misused for “jihadi” activities.

The State’s Director General of Police (DGP), Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, said a decision to come up with a portal for maintaining a database of an estimated 1,000 madrassas in Assam was taken after a meeting with some Muslim MLAs and the representatives of four Islamic organisations on September 4.

These organisations — Assam State Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, All Assam Tanzim Madaris Qaumia, Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith, and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat — run a majority of the madrassas in the State.

Mr. Mahanta said the need to monitor the madrassas was felt after some madrassas were found to have been linked to terror groups al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). Three such madrassas in Morigaon and Bongaigaon districts were demolished in August.

“We want to create a master directory of all the madrassas being run in Assam. Many of them are unregistered and unauthorised. Our objective is to prevent anti-India, jihadi elements from utilising the madrassas for their nefarious fundamentalist purposes,” the DGP said.

The Assam government converted some 800 State-run madrassas into regular schools a year ago. This did not affect some 1,000 private madrassas, of which 739 are registered.

The rules followed by the madrassas vary. The organisations running them have been asked to upload the rules of each madrassa online, besides finer details such as the salary paid to each teacher and the number of students.

Mr. Mahanta justified the move to keep tabs on the madrassas. “Our objective is to stop international conspiracies by al-Qaeda and rogue organisations such as [Pakistan’s] ISI to turn Assam into their jihadi playground,” he said.

He acknowledged the support from the four Islamic organisations that run the madrassas. “It would have been impossible to bust the AQIS and ABT modules in Assam without their cooperation,” he said.

Maulana Abdul Qadir, secretary of Tanzim Council, said people associated with some madrassas and mosques are involved in anti-national activities. “We have come forward to help the Assam Police eradicate this problem from the State,” he said, adding that about 40% of the State’s population are involved in such activities.

He also said the Islamic organisations would conduct a survey across Assam within the next six months for weeding out people engaging in treasonous activities in the name of religion.

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