Guwahati: Congress legislators from Assam have written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), urging it to investigate the demolition of a madrassa in Bongaigaon and ensure justice for its 224 students.
In a letter to the NCM chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Congress MP Abdul Khaleque and MLAs Pradip Sarkar, Abdur Rashid Mondal, Asif Nazar and Abdul Batin Khandakar alleged that the state government demolished the Markazul Ma-Arif Quariayana Madrassa in Bongaigaon “in blatant disregard to the rule of law”.
The madrasa was razed to the ground on August 31, following an order issued by the Bongaigaon district magistrate on August 30.
The order had said that the madrasa did not have the necessary documents for multipurpose activities on a single campus with multiple buildings.
The order also mentioned that the madrasa was structurally vulnerable and unsafe for human habitation as the buildings were not built according to PWD specifications.
“The district administration did not give sufficient time to the 224 residential students of the madrasa, who were mostly minors, to vacate the premises. The students had to vacate in the middle of the night, and had no shelter as most of them came from far-off places,” the Congress leaders said in the letter.
“The buildings were demolished by exercising the power conferred upon by the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It is pertinent to mention that the building of the madrasa had permission from the local panchayat and the construction was completed three years ago,” the letter added.
“The entire action is based on the backdrop of a teacher from the madrasa being arrested recently for allegedly having links with terror groups. The arrested teacher has already been suspended and the madrasa management had extended full cooperation to the investigating agencies as they scanned the entire campus but no incriminating documents were found in the premises during the search by the agencies,” it claimed.
In this case, the law has been violated and misused, thus bringing down the building under the garb of safety, they said.
The Congress leaders urged the NCM to intervene and investigate the entire matter and ensure justice for the 224 students of the now demolished madrasa.
Two more madrassas, one each in Barpeta and Morigaon districts, were also demolished last month.