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Over 1,000 Private Madrassas to Close or Convert, Says Assam CM Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma. Photo: Twitter

On New Year’s Day, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced how the government is in the process of closing down 1,000 private madrassas in Assam.

“We are trying to negotiate our way with private madrassas for their closure and conversion to general schools”, said Sarma

The Assam CM said that according to the Indian constitution, it is clear that the government cannot touch minority-run institutions. The constitution protects the private madrassas.

Further citing how the madrassas do not fall under the RTE Act, Sarma said, “The Assam police and education department are cooperating to shut down at least 1000 private madrassas. The number from three thousand shall come down to two thousand, and the same is being negotiated with private madrassa bodies”

The announcement regarding private madrassas comes after the government’s decision and action to shut down all government-run madrassas in the state, converting them to general schools.

Sarma said that the five distinct communities in Assam are known as Assamese Muslim communities. A census has been approved wherein the verification and earmarking of the villages and the municipal wards where these communities reside, respectively. By the end of 2024, the census shall be complete. Furthermore, the government will complete a fresh census of Assamese Muslims by the end of the year.

Sarma said that two additional districts in Assam are ready to witness a withdrawal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) within this year.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced plans to further reduce the footprint of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) within the state.

Two additional districts are supposed to see AFSPA lifted at some time this year, adding to the four regions where the act was withdrawn recently. While acknowledging the cautious strategy of the Central government because of concerns at the border triangle with Nagaland and Arunachal, Sarma guaranteed that total withdrawal stays the ultimate objective.

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