Valley Madarsas above Board: Inquiry
24 April 2002
The Indian Express
Srinagar: An inquiry by various security agencies has given a clean chit to Kashmir’s network of madarsas. It was found that they have not produced a single militant. ‘‘We have never caught any militant with a madarsa background,’’ said K. Rajendra, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir. ‘‘We have no objection to their functioning in Kashmir. They are unlike the madarsas in Pakistan which have become jehadi factories,’’ he added. Rajendra’s lieutenant and Kashmir DIG, S.P. Vaid, is unequivocal that Kashmiri madarsas have not produced a terrorist. ‘‘Ninety per cent militants in Kashmir are illiterate. Madarsas have played no role in militancy. They have never produced a terrorist,’’ Vaid said. Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Army and the BSF investigated the madarsas in Kashmir after the Government decided to ascertain the ‘‘hidden’’ agenda of the religious schools. None of them found any evidence that pointed towards the involvement of madarsas in spreading militancy. From the time militancy first reared its head in the Valley, these institutions of the Deobandi school of thought have distanced themselves from extremism. Their focus has solely been religious studies, the inquiries found. The investigations revealed these madarsas have never approved militancy or issued a fatwa (decree) for jehad in Kashmir. They have not openly denounced it either. ‘‘These madarsas may turn out strong believers in religion, even a fundamentalist. But they have never produced a militant,’’ Rajendra said. The state government would have come down heavily on them had they been found involved in breeding militants or propagating militancy. The Army had asked madarsa chiefs to fill a form that asked for madarsa name, motive, area, sect, political beliefs, means of funding and elaborate staff statements.