Surveillance tightened on madrassas along Indo-Nepal border

November 14th, 2007 - 2:08 am ICT by admin  
The sudden growth of madrassas in the area in recent past has roused suspicion. At present, there are 158 mosques and 146 Islamic schools on the Indian side with 102 mosques and 60 madrassas in Nepal.

“If such religious institutions give shelter to illegal and unconstitutional activities, then the government should ban such places and stop the activities. The authorities are also to be blamed for this. We allow new madrassas to come up in the name of religion,” said Anil Kumar, General Secretary, Indo-Nepal Border Association.

“Basically, it is all a matter of vote bank politics. But why do we try to show fake concern and why do we supervise when what matters to us in the end is just vote bank politics?” he added.

The rising number of these Islamic institutions in some districts of Nepal along the border that it shares with India is proving to be a menace for the Indian security forces.

“We have no such information till now. The moment we get some information about such activities being conducted at any place, we shall take action,” said S Bandhopadhyaya, Director in General, Sashastra Sena Bal.

The madrassas are alleged to be funded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) which is active in Nepal and whose members find it easy to traverse the largely porous 1,580 km (987 miles) India-Nepal border.

However, clerics at these madrassas have denied reports of any illegal funding, saying much of the funding comes from Muslims settled in border areas in both India and Nepal.

“How can we train people for terrorist activities? Training and imparting of knowledge takes place when one is aware of the art. Here, we do not know how to handle guns ourselves, how can we teach anyone else,” Abdul Mannan, Principal of a madrassa along the Indo-Nepal border. (ANI)

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