On UP's madrasa survey move, Owaisi says ‘mini-NRC’, NCPCR chief, minority minister hit back
The UP government has said all unrecognised madrasas in the state will be surveyed to ascertain information on the number of students, teachers and staff, and the affiliation of the unrecognised madrasas with any non-government organisation.
The Uttar Pradesh government's decision to conduct a survey of all unrecognised madrasas in the state has triggered a row with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi comparing the move to a “mini-NRC”. Soon after, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Priyank Kanoongo and the Yogi Adityanath government’s minority minister Danish Ansari hit back at the Hyderabad MP.
Owaisi accused the BJP regime in Uttar Pradesh of “harassing Muslims” and said that as per Article 30, madrasas come under the ambit of the UP Madarsa Board. “It's not a survey, but a mini-NRC. Some madrasas are under the UP madrassa board. The government cannot interfere with our rights under Article 30. They just want to harass Muslims,” the AIMIM chief was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Kanoongo said Owaisi is “lying” and “misleading the minorities” of the state, adding the Hyderabad MP is “playing with the rights of youth”.
Kanoonga said the Article 30 argument will not be applicable in this case as the government is the custodian of rights of children who are out of school. He added the government ought to go to the madrasas to collect data on out-of-school children.
“The government (of UP) has every right to go, ask about conditions of children and re-engage them in the education system… Our report shows that over 1.10 crore children are studying in unmapped and unrecognised madrasas,” he told ANI.
The NCPCR chairman also thanked Adityanath and UP minority affairs minister Danish Ansari for having taken cognisance of the out-of-school children issue, and ordered the survey for the same. Further, Kanoonga urged chief ministers of all other states to carry out similar surveys.
“No communal right can be above the rights of children,” he said.
The UP government that made the announcement of the survey on Wednesday said that the move is aimed at ascertaining information on the number of students, teachers and staff, and the affiliation of unrecognised madrasas with any non-government organisation.
The NCPCR will conduct the survey in this case.
Ansari said the move aims to provide maternity and childcare leaves to women employees working in madrasas corresponding to the rules applicable in the state's education department. He added that barring 16,513 legal madrasas, several others are not recognised by the state board.
“Their data needs to be with the government to check whether the students studying there are getting quality education and facilities,” Ansari told ANI.
Accusing Owaisi of rindulging in misleading politics, Ansari said, “Today's Muslims are well-aware, they know what's good for their development and they trust the Yogi government.”
The development in UP comes amid tension in another BJP-led state - Assam - over the past few days following the demolition of two madrasas. On Monday, one madrasa in Barpeta district was demolished after it was reported that it allegedly sheltered two Bangladeshi operatives of Ansarul Bangla Team for four years. The second demolition drive was carried out on Wednesday, days after a teacher of the institution was arrested for his suspected links with terror outfit - Al-Qaeda, and Asarul.
(With agency inputs)