Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that entry to religious institutions like Madrasas should only be allowed at an age at which students can make their own decisions.
Talking to media persons in the national capital Delhi, CM Sarma said, “Madrasa should be a system of education that can give students the choice to do anything in the future. Entry to any religious institution should be at an age where they can make their own decisions.”
Notably, in March the Assam unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that “anti-national activities” are going on in many of the private madrassas in the state and urged the administration to “keep a close watch if education is imparted in those private madrassas on the lines of government madrassas”.
They had alleged that Islamic terror outfit ‘Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has sprung up in the Madrassas situated in char-chapori (riverine) areas in the form of sleeper cells covering a wide network and the process has caught pace in the past couple of years.
Referring to the arrest of five youths from Barpeta district’s Chakaliyapara Madrassa by Assam Police recently, the BJP said, “this has exposed the wide network of the extremist outfit in the majority of the madrassas in the char-chapori areas of the state.”
In February, Gauhati High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Assam Repealing Act 2020 to repeal the Madrassa Education Procincialisation Acts.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Soumitra Saikia observed that the State-funded Madrassas are minority institutions and were established and administered by the minority is only a claim that carries no foundation and is hence not acceptable.
The Assam government had brought a law that converted all the State-run madrassas into upper primary, high and higher secondary schools.