The Assam government is trying to negotiate with private madrassas for their closure and conversion to general schools, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on New Year’s day. This comes after his government has already shut down all government-run madrassas in the state and converted them to general schools.
“Private madrassas are protected by the constitutions of India as it is written that the government cannot touch minority-run educational institutes. They don’t even fall under the RTE Act. But having said that, the Assam police and education department are working together so we can reduce at least 1000 private madrassas. From three thousand, it will come down to two thousand and we are negotiating this with the private madrassa bodies,” he said.
“There are five distinct communities who are known as Assamese Muslim communities, we have approved the census and we are verifying the villages where the Assamese Muslim communities live, also wards in municipal areas where Assamese Muslims live are being earmarked and by the end of 2024, we will complete this census,” Mr Sarma added.
The Assam Chief Minister also added that his government will complete a fresh census of Assamese Muslims by the end of this year.
Significantly, Mr Sarma said that at least two more districts of Assam will see a rollback of AFSPA this year.
“The Assam government has now recommended a total withdrawal but the Government has advised us that we need to be a little cautious so AFSPA is now restricted to four districts. I think in the next review, we will roll back AFSPA from two other districts, The Centre does not want to withdraw AFSPA from the triangle area of the borders between Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal. It’s a matter of time, at some point in time AFSPA will totally be rolled back,” he said.