Letter from the Editor in Chief

During the last few years, a large number of Muslim militant outfits have mushroomed in the State of Assam. Assam Police in recent years has gathered sufficient evidence to prove that the Pakistani intelligence agency – ISI has been actively involved in fomenting violence and terrorism in the State. 

With inputs of a deep-rooted network being operated by Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in different districts of Assam, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has roped in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to unearth the module. As per the report, between February 2022 and October 2022, around 53 individuals, including Bangladeshis have been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and by Assam police for belonging to an AQIS network. These individuals have been linked to Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. 

The intention of AQIS was simple and envisaged with a long-term plan. AQIS had set up Madrassas for recruitment, religious indoctrination, and training. These outfits have been actively engaged in extortion of money, recruitment of cadres and training in handling arms and explosives.

Understanding the gravity of the situation, the Himanta Biswa Sarma government-initiated measures to regulate the working of Madrassas. There are around 2500 privately run madrassas in the state. Most of these madrassas have very few students. To begin with, the Assam government has already converted nearly 400 Government-run madrassas into regular schools and have merged the small with larger Madrassas with active involvement from the local Islamic community. Interestingly, the government is also contemplating modernizing the curriculum of the Madrassas.

Although some of the top arrested militants have been connected with the activities of Mosques or Madrassas, nobody should jump to a conclusion that all these sacred religious institutions have been maligned. While it is necessary to take legal action against those criminals involved in anti-national activities, care has been taken not to bring bad name to the sacred religious institution in general. Also, to safeguard the religious sentiments involved,  Muslim police officers alone are deputed for such enquiry in religious places which is much appreciated.

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