Yogi government sent notices to madrasas lacking proper documents

Debjit Mukherjee: Days after the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe foreign funding in madrasas across the state, notices have been issued to madrasa managers lacking proper documents, with some even being asked to pay Rs 10,000 a day to remain operational.

The SIT has already started probing madrasas in Muzaffarnagar that are “run without proper registration or recognition”.

More than 100 such madrasas have been found in the Muzaffarnagar district alone, of which 12 have been served notices declaring that “Rs 10,000 per day would be charged unless they close immediately”.

Against the backdrop of these investigations, the district’s Basic Shiksha Adhikari Shubham Shukla said that defaulters had been asked to register their institutes—”We are asking them to register and the procedure of recognition of a school or a madrasa is not that complicated or difficult,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the chairman of the UP Board of Madrasa Education, Iftikhar Ahmed Javed said that the investigations were infringing on the rights of madrasas.

“No one, including the education department, has the right to interfere in madrasa matters. Only the minority department can do it,” Ahmed was quoted as saying.

Ahmed’s words were also echoed by Qari Zakir Husain, the UP secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, who said, “These notices in Muzaffarnagar are meant to target a particular community. Their rule does not apply to Islamic seminaries, schools, or other religious institutions.”

At present, UP has over 25,000 functional madrasas, of which only 16,513 are recognised by the UP Board of Madrasa Education. According to a report, a bulk of these unrecognised madrasas—around 4,000 in number—are located along the 579 km border that UP shares with Nepal.