Bangladesh’s Hathazari Madrasa shut after student protests


By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Sep 17 |
Bangladesh’s Education Ministry has shut down Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, popularly known as Hathazari Madrasa, in Chattogram (Chittagong), until further notice in wake of protests at the seminary.

Students of the Madrasa had demonstrated on Chattogram-Khagrachhari road and vandalised furniture inside the Madrasa on Wednesday demanding removal of Anas Madani, the eldest son of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief Shah Ahmed Shafi.

An order signed by Syed Asgar Ali, Assistant Secretary, Technical and Madrasa Education Division under the Education Ministry, said: “On August 24, conditional permission was given to the qawmi Madrasas to resume academic activities and examinations. As the conditions were not fulfilled properly, Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam has been shut down until further notice. The order will come into effect immediately.”

On Wednesday, several hundred students of Hathazari Madrasa erupted in protest to press home their six-point demand.

Locals said the demonstration was a result of the dispute between supporters of Shafi and Hefazat Secretary-General Junayed Babunagri.

Police later removed the students from the highway. The law enforcers took position outside the Madrasa on Thursday, saying tensions simmered inside.

The violent protest was the latest in the rift between Babunagari and Anas Madani, that surfaced when Babunagari was removed from the post of Assistant Director of the Madrasa in June this year.

In the wake of raging protests of the students, the Shura Committee (highest decision-making body) of the educational institution held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night and decided to relieve Anas Madani of his duties at the Madrasa.

Anas Madani has been serving as the Publicity Secretary of the radical Islamist platform and the Assistant Director of the age-old Madrasa.

Tension rose in the Hathazari Madrasa in recent months over the leadership as Shafi fell ill several times.

The dispute between supporters of Shafi and Junayed Babunagri sprang out in the open when the Shura Committee replaced the latter with Sheikh Ahmed in June.

Source: IANS

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