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Demolished madrasas were Al-Qaeda offices, says Assam CM

Sarma said, “All demolished madrasas were not madrasas but Al Qaeda offices. We demolished 2-3 and now the public is coming to demolish others.”

ANI | New Delhi |

A day after the demolition of madrasas in Assam’s Goalpara district, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said all demolished madrasas were not madrasas but Al-Qaeda offices.

Speaking to media persons here, Sarma said, “All demolished madrasas were not madrasas but Al Qaeda offices. We demolished 2-3 and now the public is coming to demolish others. The Muslim community is coming to demolish, saying that they do not want a madrasa where the work of Al-Qaeda is done. That changes madrasa’s character.” The Chief Minister’s statement came after local residents of Pakhuria Char in Assam’s Goalpara district demolished a madrasa on Tuesday after a cleric associated with it was held for alleged anti-national activities.

“Locals took the initiative to demolish a madrassa. The government was not involved in it. They were surprised that the jihadi who was arrested was a teacher in the madrassa. People have given a strong message that they do not support jihadi activities,” Goalpara Superintendent of Police VV Rakesh Reddy told ANI.

“Today, the locals of Darogar Alga, Pakhiura Char in Goalpara district voluntarily demolished the madrassa & the residence adjacent to the madrassa which was previously used by two suspected Bangladeshi nationals as a strong resentment towards the Jihadi activities,” said the Assam Police CPRO.

In the last few weeks, four madrasas have been demolished, with the first three being pulled down by government authorities. Earlier on August 4, the government authorities demolished Madrasa Jamiul Huda Madrasa at Moirabari in Morigaon district.

Earlier on Saturday, two suspected terrorists linked with the Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) terror groups were arrested by the Assam police in the Goalpara district.

The arrested persons have been identified as Abdus Subhan, Imam of Tinkunia Shantipur Mosque under Mornoi police station and Jalaluddin Sheikh, Imam of Tilapara Natun Mosque under Matia police station in Goalpara, after they were grilled by the police for several hours.

Goalpara SP VV Rakesh Reddy had said that both the aforesaid persons were arrested after they were grilled for hours.

“We have gotten input in July this year from arrested Abbas Ali who is also linked with Jihadi elements. During the interrogation, we found that they were directly connected with Barpeta and Morigaon modules of AQIS/ABT in Assam,” the SP had said.

“During the house searches of the accused persons, a number of incriminating material related to the Al-Qaeda, Jihadi elements, posters, books among other documents were seized along with the mobile phones, SIM cards and ID cards,” he had added.

The senior Assam cop further had said that they (accused) have also given logistic support to the Jihadi terrorists who came here from Bangladesh.

“The Bangladeshi nationals are absconding and the arrested terrorists had given shelter to the Bangladeshi terrorists in Goalpara. The arrested persons had organized one Dharma Sabha in December 2019 at Sundarpur Tilapara Madrassa under the Matia police station where many Bangladeshi nationals with linkages to AQIS were invited as guest speakers,” the police officer had said.

He had further disclosed that these arrested persons were involved in providing logistic support as well as sheltering the Bangladeshi nationals, who are currently absconding.

“They confessed being members of AQIS and recruited Ansars/Sleeper Cells in Goalpara and revealed direct funding and supports have come from the absconding Bangladeshi terrorists,” SP VV Rakesh Reddy had added.

A fresh case has been registered at Matia police station case number under sections 120(B), 121, 121 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) RW and sections 18, 18 (B), 19, and 20 of the UA(P) Act.

Earlier on July 28, 11 persons were detained in a major crackdown in Assam for their alleged links with the global terror outfits including AQIS and ABT.