Survey team attacked by mob during inspection of madrasas in Ahmedabad - Hindustan Times
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Survey team attacked by mob during inspection of madrasas in Ahmedabad

May 18, 2024 08:41 PM IST

The survey was part of a state-wide exercise mandated by the Gujarat Education Department, following directives from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

A survey team faced a mob attack while inspecting a madrasa in Ahmedabad’s Dariyapur area on Saturday. The survey was part of a state-wide exercise mandated by the Gujarat Education Department, following directives from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

There are about 1,130 madrasas in Gujarat, of which 175 are in Ahmedabad. (Representative Image)
There are about 1,130 madrasas in Gujarat, of which 175 are in Ahmedabad. (Representative Image)

According to a complaint filed at the Dariyapur police station, the team was documenting the madrasa when they were surrounded by an aggressive mob. Subsequently, a first information report (FIR) has been registered against seven named accused and approximately 35 others for rioting, obstructing government work, and looting, officials said.

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The government notification seeks to gather comprehensive data on the operational aspects of madrasas, including details on management, recognition status, infrastructure, and fire safety compliance.

“The incident unfolded on Saturday outside the Sultan Syed Mosque when a team arrived to survey the madrasa, which was closed at that time. One of the school principals, Sandeep Patel, who was also a member of the survey team, was documenting the site through photographs when he was accosted by a few individuals. After a heated argument escalated, they physically assaulted Patel. A complaint has been lodged,” stated an official from the Dariyapur police who asked not to be named.

The notification was issued based on a circular from the NCPCR, which has sought details from all states on “non-Hindu students of madrasas and unmapped madrasas,” according to an official familiar with the matter.

“The NCPCR circular is based on complaints alleging that children studying in these madrasas are receiving only religious instruction, not standard school education,” the official added. There are about 1,130 madrasas in Gujarat, of which 175 are in Ahmedabad, said officials.

In response to the NCPCR’s complaint addressed to the state’s chief secretary, the education department has issued a circular outlining the procedures for the survey. This includes physical verification of non-Muslim children in government-aided and recognised madrasas, as well as mapping unlisted madrasas. The education department has directed district education officers (DEOs) and district primary education officers (DPEOs) to form teams to carry out these inspections and submit their findings promptly.

The government notification seeks to gather comprehensive data on the operational aspects of madrasas, including details on management, recognition status, infrastructure, fire safety compliance, number of students, fees charged, and donations received. Information has also been sought on students studying in madrasas while simultaneously enrolled in regular schools, including their child tracking numbers.

The NCPCR notification has also sought information on the number of madrasa students aged between 6 and 14 years.

“We were informed about this survey only last night and called by the Ahmedabad DEO for a meeting this morning, after which different teams were formed for the survey. We do not understand the urgency of this survey. Also, we were sent without police protection, and some of these are very sensitive areas. The teacher who was assaulted today is a school principal who was only doing his duty. What has the government done for our safety and security?” questioned Rakesh Pandya, president of the Ahmedabad City Principals’ Association.

Mahesh Joshi, director of primary education, said that according to provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, all children between the ages of 6 and 14 have to compulsorily get education.

“This is an exercise to bring all students into the educational mainstream, and the survey and mapping are being done for this purpose. The NCPCR has sought these details, and we have begun work on the mapping of all madrasas,” Joshi told HT.

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