Centre Warns Bengal Of State Madrasas Being Used As Terror Breeding Ground


New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday informed Lok Sabha that there were intelligence inputs of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) allegedly using madrasas in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts in West Bengal as breeding ground for terror activity.

The government said that madasas in these two locations were being used for radicalisation of youth and recruitment activities. The Centre on its part has already announced JMB as a terrorist organisation.

Reacting to the development, Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “I haven’t seen the statement. First I will go through the statement then respond. Pushing off a madrasa teacher and forcing him to chant Jai Shree Ram is also not right. I don’t know whether the state home department has received any such letters or not.”

As per some reports, JMB has set up terror factories in the border areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal.

With indications that the Bangladeshi terror group has support from Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

While the Centre led BJP and West Bengal government of Mamata Banerjee seem to be in a warpath, the state government has been issued advisory from time to time.

Sources in West Bengal administration said, “The information though not new is factual.”

Another source said, “A lot of unrecognized madrasas exist in West Bengal and for funding they end up being the catspaw of JMB and other Bangladesh-based organisations.”

The NIA, whose domain has been to investigate terror cases, have found links of JMB with terror financing and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) but even top sources said that use of madrasas to radicalise youth was not found in their investigation.

On October 2, 2014, a blast took place in a house in West Bengal’s Burdwan district in which a man identified as Sakil Gazi died.

The NIA in its investigation revealed that the JMB members wanted to establish Sharia rule by overthrowing the democratically elected government in Bangladesh. JMB was involved in the Bodh Gaya blast.

But Centre’s push to give NIA new powers to not require concurrence from state DG for conducting raids in states could later turn out to be another area of discontent in future.

The state government has so far not paid heed to the advice on security matters, including the recent advisory on political killings. Certain officers in the security setup, however, pointed out, “Centre has been harsh on West Bengal but cannot do much as “police” and “law and order” remain state subjects.