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Friday, October 10, 2014

Police and admin clueless about number of unrecognized madrassahs, intelligence wings monitor

Malda, 10 October, 2014: Though the role of some unrecognized madrassahs are under scanner after the nation-storming Burdwan explosion, police and district administrations have no guess about the exact number of such institutions otherwise known as ‘Khariji’ madrassah in the district. Interestingly, most of those madrassahs despite the proposal of the state government were reportedly not keen to get the government recognition.

However, intelligence sources informed that such madrassahs have been mushrooming in Malda with a greater density in three blocks in Kaliachak proximate to India-Bangladesh border. Number of Khariji madrassahs in the district is nearly five times greater than the state government recognized and aided madrassahs.

It has been learnt from an official of West Bengal Board of Madrassah Education (WBBME) that there are 81 state government recognized and aided madrassahs in Malda and another 12 recognized but unaided madrassahs in Malda. Nearly 1 lakh students study in those government-recognized madrassahs.

However, the WBBME official could not ascertain the exact number of Khariji or Nijamia madrassahs located at different nook and corner of Malda. “I guess the number would be approximately 400,” he said.

Additional SP Abhishek Modi also could not provide the exact number of unrecognized private madrassahs in the district. “We do not have the figure with us now about the specific number of such madrassahs being run in Malda. We would see if the figure is available with the district administrations,” Modi said on Friday.

However, intelligence officials claimed that there are approximately 450 Khariji madrassahs in Malda and most of those are concentrated at areas like Sujapur, Shershahi, Kumbhira, Golapganj, Shashani, Alinagar and some other areas in Kaliachak block.

District officer of minority affairs (DOMA) Krishnava Ghosh said, “After the state government took the initiative of recognizingten thousand such madrassahs, BDOs were asked to submit the number of such institutions from their respective blocks. But the process did not progress later.”

“Though provisions were there for such institutions to get recognition from the state government only 90 unrecognized madrassahs applied and around 10 Khariji madrassahs already got it. We do not know why the other such madrassahs did not respond enthusiastically,” Ghosh added.

Though some Khariji madrassah authorities claimed that those institutions are run with the benevolent and modest financial help provided by the guardians of the students and other charitable locals, the intelligence officials anticipate that a number of such Khariji madrassahs get monetary aid from some international organizations abroad.. They believe that hence those Khariji madrassah authorities are not too keen to get the state government’s recognition as in that case the foreign financial help may be stopped.

The WBBME official informed that apart from English, Bengali and Mathematics, ‘Dwiniyat’ or religious education is largely imparted in these madrassahs along with Arbi and Urdu languages. “If these madrassahs are to get recognized by the state government, they are compelled to follow the government curriculum which they may not like mostly,” said an intelligence official.

However, the intelligence wings of the Central and state governments claimed to have started gathering information about the Khariji madrassahs as learnt from sources.

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