The West Bengal assembly hit out at the Centre on Wednesday for telling the Parliament that there were inputs of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) using some madrasas in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts for radicalisation and recruitment activities. Lawmakers cutting across party lines hit out at the Centre and decided to bring a joint motion in protest against the statement of Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday.
The ruling Trinamool Congress and the Congress called Reddy's comments in the Parliament in reply to a written question "politically motivated". "This kind of comment made in Parliament is hurting the culture of the country. It is becoming a big threat to it," Education Minister and TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee said. "Our police and the administration has taken a note of it. This kind of move is dangerous and must be stopped immediately."
Reddy had told the Lok Sabha that there were inputs of the JMB using madrasas in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts for radicalisation and recruitment activities. Chatterjee referred to former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's comment in the assembly that madrasas had become a "harvesting place for terrorists". "After that, he (Bhattacharjee) was given an appropriate reply by the people of the state," he said, alluding to the Left Front losing power after a 34-year-long rule.
Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Abdul Mannan condemned Reddy's statement and said it had hurt the sentiments of the people of the state. "I've studied in a madrasa. And like me, there are several members of this assembly who have studied in the state madrasas. There are several Hindu teachers in the madrasas," Mannan said.
"Someone (Reddy) holding such an important post in the central government cannot talk like this. This is against the Constitution," the Congress leader said. Minister of Mass Education Extension Siddiqullah Chowdhury said Speaker Biman Banerjee had asked the lawmakers to bring a joint motion on the matter and all political parties should come together for it.
"Madrasa education is existing here for 1,400 years. I don't think there is anything of that sort (radicalisation)," Chowdhury said. "But if there is some specific person involved in the crime, then that's different."
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