Want UP-style madrasa surveys, CCTV cameras in mosques under police control, says new head of Uttarakhand Waqf board

Dehradun: The new chairman of the Uttarakhand Waqf Board, Shadaab Shams, wants the The government of Pushkar Singh Dhami will follow The example of Uttar Pradesh and conduct a survey of unregistered madrasas in the state.

Shams, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who has been elected unopposed at the post last week, told ThePrint in an interview that the Waqf Council will soon make an official representation before the state government to identify madrasas not affiliated with it or the Uttarakhand Madarsa Board (UMB) – the regulatory body for Islamic educational institutions.

The Waqf Board and the UMB are the two state bodies that govern madrasas. Each has jurisdiction over the madrasas under it.

“Based on the UP government book, we will conduct a survey of madrasas operating in Uttarakhand. This will include those affiliated with the UMB or the Waqf Board as well as madrasas that are not registered with either government body,” Shams said.

The aim, he added, is to prepare a database of unregistered madrasas operating in the state and find out why they are not registered with the council. The exercise also aims to identify government-funded madrasas that need upgrading, he added.

Madrasas that are not registered with the state waqf board or UMB will be given an ultimatum – either register or be dissolved.

No unregistered madrasa will be allowed to operate in Uttarakhand no matter what. I spoke to the CM. Soon, a formal proposal will be submitted to him for investigation,” the head of the Waqf Board said.

The development comes two months after Dhami’s government warned government-assisted madrasas either affiliate with the state board of education or face prosecution.

Shams also said security cameras will be installed in mosques and madrasas across the state to monitor “illegal activities, if any.”

According to Waqf Board estimates, Uttarakhand currently has 522 registered madrasas (419 with UMB and 103 with Waqf Board), while nearly the same number of madrasas are not registered.

On August 31, the UP government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered a survey to identify unrecognized madrasas and gather details such as the organizations running them, curriculum and source of income. The development sparked a political row, with the opposition claiming the exercise was intended to harass Muslims living in the state.

Read also : Modernization or harassment? Why the investigation into unrecognized madrasas is fueling the feud in UP

Improved learning, better infrastructure

Shams claimed that the new council planned to incorporate madrasa learning into mainstream education. This means including subjects like math and science in the madrasa education system: “Madrasas in Uttarakhand will now incorporate mainstream subjects like science, math and languages ​​like Hindi and English. They will be converted into real schools and modernized with smart classrooms and education systems.

The plan is to allow religious teachings of four hours each – two in the morning and two in the evening – while regular classes will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The proposal, which is still in the works, will first be implemented with the 103 madrasas affiliated to the Waqf Board and eventually replicated in UMB institutions, Shams said.

The council also intends to modernize the madrasas, not only in terms of curriculum but also in terms of infrastructure. For this, the Waqf Board has at its disposal significant funds – mainly through donations – and properties, he added.

Shams also claimed that the council will set up higher learning centers for the students of the madrasa: “These centers will take the form of ITIs and other professional and skills development centers so that the students of the madrasa may have better means of employment”.

According to council records, Uttarakhand Waqf council owned properties worth nearly Rs 3 lakh crore, he said, adding, “Rehmania Madrasa in Roorkee will be developed as a model study center for minorities equipped with smart classrooms, adequate teaching staff and other modern infrastructure facilities. .”

CCTV cameras in mosques, removal of loudspeakers

Madrasahs and mosques under the state waqf council will be equipped with security cameras, Shams said. “CCTV cameras will be installed in madrasas and all 709 mosques run by the state waqf council, with remote control in local police stations. It aims to prevent illegal activities and maintain transparency in mosques.

New mosques will not have loudspeakers and efforts will be made to remove them from existing ones as well, he said. This decision is significant, especially given the controversy surrounding the loudspeakers that has rocked two states – Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra – earlier this year.

The council is also working on plans to open foster homes for elderly people who have been “abandoned” by their families, Shams said.

Called “Second Inning” homes, residents of these shelters can return to their families whenever they wish, he added.

Anti-encroachment training

The BJP leader said that although the council had enough properties to fund its own activities, several of them had been encroached upon. For that, the council will most likely launch an anti-encroachment campaign on Sept. 17, he said. First, the 14 bighas of waqf land in Dehradun, which Shams says has been encroached “for years”.

“The new board will hold its first meeting on September 15 and finalize the anti-encroachment campaign,” he said, adding, “This [the drive] will serve as an example for other waqf councils in the country to free their lands as well.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Read also : Indian Muslims don’t say the Uniform Civil Code is bad. It’s just that the Ashraafs have a problem

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