Islamic seminaries celebrate Republic Day in J&K's Shopian district
Two Islamic seminaries in militancy-infested Shopian district, which were under the scanner of security forces after some of their students allegedly joined terrorist ranks, on Wednesday celebrated Republic Day which was observed with patriotic fervour across Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
Pictures of the functions at Darul-Uloom in Pinjora village and Siraj-ul-Uloom in Hillow village went viral on social media, showing students and teachers hoisting the national flag and chanting 'Jai Hind' and 'Vande Mataram'.
This is for the first time the national flag has been installed in such large numbers in the city and other parts of the valley which has been grappling with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for the past 32 years.
Darul-Uloom, a religious school, at Pinjora came under the lens of security agencies when three of its students were apprehended in North Kashmir's Baramulla district on December 11 last year while trying to exfiltrate to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training, the officials said.
Though the boys denied the involvement of Darul-Uloom teachers in their radicalisation, the investigation revealed that over 20 boys from the school, which started functioning in 2001, had joined militant ranks. The officials said a background check of all the teachers and students enrolled in the religious school is under process.
They said that as part of efforts of imbibing patriotism and nationalism, Republic Day celebrations were held in the seminary in which the students and teachers turned in good numbers, despite heavy snow.
The tricolour was unfurled in the snow-covered lawns and the attendees, most of whom were wearing 'pheran' (a loose gown used by Kashmiris to keep warm during winter), chanted slogans in praise of the country, the officials said.
On October 13, 2020, police arrested three teachers of the religious school under the stringent Public Safety Act for allegedly ''spreading hatred while teaching'', an action which came a day after the religious school came under the scanner of investigating agencies when 13 of its students were found to have joined militant groups.
However chairman of the school, Muhammad Yousuf Matoo had termed the allegations ''baseless'', claiming that those arrested under the PSA were never teachers of the seminary.
He had also claimed that the students, who become militants, had already left the seminary or were home for a longer period before joining the militant groups.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)