Guwahati: According to Education Minister Ranoj Pegu, the Assam government may regulate all private madrassas in the state under an existing Act. The proposal has gained traction in the aftermath of the arrests of several madrassa teachers for alleged links to terrorist organisations. “Although no concrete steps have been taken as of yet,” Pegu said, “the government is considering whether private seminaries can be brought under the control of the Assam Non-Governmental Educational Institutions (Regulation and Management) Act, 2006.”
When asked if private madrassas would be regulated, he stated, “We were not looking into it until now.” We already have a law in place to oversee non-governmental educational institutions. However, this Act does not currently cover all non-governmental schools.” According to the minister, the government is gradually bringing all non-governmental educational institutions under the existing Act for regulation and monitoring.
“We will examine whether these private madrassas fall under that category or not in consultation with the Law Department.” Nothing has been done thus far, but we may consider it,” he added. Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Director General of Police, stated earlier this month that there are approximately 3,000 registered and unregistered private madrassas in Assam run by four major Muslim organisations.
All 610 state-run madrassas in Assam were converted into upper primary, high, and higher secondary schools on April 1, last year, with no change in status, pay, allowances, or service conditions for teaching and non-teaching staff. Since March of this year, 42 people have been arrested across Assam for alleged links to terror organisations Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
Mahanta had stated that the government would launch a portal where all madrassas would be required to upload relevant information such as location, teachers’ names and addresses, and salaries, among other things. The top cop also announced the formation of a committee comprised of representatives from all four madrassa monitoring organisations, which issue guidelines and syllabus, to conduct a survey of the state’s seminaries and propose ways to ensure that instructions are followed. Following the arrests of madrassa teachers for alleged links with terrorist organisations, four such educational institutions in Assam have been demolished. Following the arrests of teachers for alleged links with “Jihadi elements,” the respective district administrations in Morigaon, Barpeta, and Bongaigaon districts demolished the structures in August. The villagers demolished Goalpara’s Darogar Alga Madrassa and a house on the same compound on September 6 following the discovery of alleged “Jihadi” links with two seminary teachers.