Assam Govt demolishes madrassa over alleged militant links

GUWAHATI — A madrassa in Assam’s Bongaigaon district was demolished by authorities on Wednesday for allegedly carrying out ‘jihadi’ activities on its premises, a police officer said.

A teacher of the madrassa was arrested last week for his suspected links with militant outfits – Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent and Ansarul Bangla Team.

Around a dozen of excavators were deployed to demolish the two-storey building of the Kabaitari Ma Arif Madrassa in Jogighopa area of the district, the officer said, adding that other structures on the premises were also being razed to the ground.

This is the second such action this week as a madrassa in Barpeta district, which had allegedly sheltered two Bangladeshi operatives of Ansarul Bangla Team for four years, was demolished on Monday.

One of the alleged Bangladeshi militant operatives, the principal, a teacher and another person associated with the madrassa were also arrested by the Barpeta police.

The police officer from Bongaigaon said the Kabaitari Ma Arif Madrassa was being demolished, following the recovery of incriminating documents related to ‘jihadi’ elements from its canteen during an operation by the Goalpara police on Tuesday night.

The Goalpara police arrested a teacher of the madrassa last week and the raid was carried out based on inputs provided by him.

“The district disaster management authorities had issued a notice to the madrassa for violation of building norms and declared that it was not fit for human habitation,” the police officer said.

Students of the educational institute, which had a residential facility, left for their homes on Tuesday night.

“The district administration helped the students vacate the premises. In most cases, guardians came and took away their wards,” the officer said.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had recently said that the state was becoming a “hotbed of jihadi activities” with about five modules having links with Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent and Ansarul Bangla Team busted in the last few months.

More than 40 people with suspected links with the ‘jihadi’ activities, including Bangladeshis, have been arrested in the state since March this year. — (PTI)