Manipur CM N Biren Singh extends support to Himanta Sarma over ‘illegal’ madrasa demolition, calls it ‘necessary step’

New Delhi: Extending support to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma`s demolition of three madrasas in the state, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Thursday said that the BJP is not against the legal madrasas but only the illegal ones. Singh said that he would have taken the same action if he had been the chief minister of Assam. 

Speaking to ANI, he said, “What the Chief Minister is doing in Assam in connection with the madrassa is right. Those who have to approach the courts can do it, it is a democracy. But he is doing the right thing. If I had been at Himanta Biswa Sarma`s place as a chief minister, I would have taken the same action.”

Standing in support of Sarma who was criticised by Congress for his action against the madrasas which the Assam CM alleged were the offices of Al-Qaeda, Singh said that Sarma understands the political demography of the state and is working accordingly. “Sarma is an experienced politician who is connected to the grassroots. He understands the political demography there. He is working according to that only. We have instructed earlier to the madrassas in Manipur to impart a general education,” he said.

The Manipur CM said that there is a need to crack down on those indulging in “unconstitutional activities”. “Unrecognized and unauthorized Madrasas need to be recognized. An undue advantage of India`s democracy was taken. The BJP governments are not against the legal madrassas but are against the illegal ones. There is a need to crackdown on those who do unconstitutional activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said all demolished madrasas were not madrasas but Al-Qaeda offices. Speaking to mediapersons 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. Notably, on 30 August, the Uttar Pradesh government had asked the DMs of all the districts to conduct a survey of unrecognized madrassas and inform the government about it.