A madrassa panel in Uttarakhand has banned students and teachers from using the internet and social media days after authorities took into custody four young men from Haridwar district for their alleged links to Islamic State (IS).
Officials and clerics from the Madrassa Intezamia (management) Committee in Roorkee city said the step was a preventive measure to stop youngsters from being drawn towards radicalism and terror groups.
A written order forbidding the use of the internet as well as Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media sites has been circulated in all the madrassas of the state, they said.
“Similar advisories have also been sent to community members and responsible clerics in other states,” informed Maulana Nawab, a local religious leader. “It has to be strictly implemented in all madrassas of the state. Violators will be expelled from their institutions.”
Committee officials said more than 15 madrasas in Roorkee’s Landhaur suburb where police arrested the four youngsters last week have implemented the order with immediate effect.
The state madrassa board has remained silent on the issue.
Nawab said the ban was permanent and it would also help students focus on their studies. “Multimedia phones will not be used in madrasas,” said Maulana Aarif, a senior cleric from Haridwar. “It will be mandatory for students because they are not aware about the demerits of smartphones. Students can use simple cell phones to call their parents.”