Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that entry to religious institutions like Madrasas should only be allowed at an age when student students can independently take their own decisions.
Speaking to reporters, CM Sarma said, "Madrasa should be a system of education that can give students the choice to do anything in the future. Entry to any religious institution should be at an age where they can make their own decisions."
In March this year, the state BJP unit alleged that "anti-national activities" are going on in many of the private madrassas in the state and urged the administration to "keep a close watch if education is imparted in those private madrassas on the lines of government madrassas".
They alleged that Islamic terror outfit 'Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent' (AQIS) has sprung up in the Madrassas situated in char-chapori (riverine) areas in the form of sleeper cells covering a wide network and the process has caught pace in the past couple of years.
Referring to the arrest of five youths from Barpeta district's Chakaliyapara Madrassa by Assam Police recently, the BJP said, "this has exposed the wide network of the extremist outfit in the majority of the madrassas in the char-chapori areas of the state."
Earlier yesterday, CM Sarma advocated for closing down of all madrasas and said that religious teachings should be kept to homes.
CM Sarma was speaking at an event titled ‘Media Mahamanthan’ in Delhi organised by Panchjanya, a national weekly on Sunday.
The Assam CM stressed on the need to close down madrasas so that children can take up professions like engineering or medicine.
He said that students should get “normal education” instead of religious teachings in schools which will enable them to move forward in life.