Hathazari Madrasa closed sine die
The Ministry of Education on Thursday evening closed down the Hathazari Madrasa in Chattogram for an indefinite period amid various demands raised by the students.
The ministry said the directive to shut down the madrasa indefinitely was issued as the conditions imposed to keep it open during the coronavirus pandemic were not followed properly.
The directive was issued by the Education Ministry on Thursday evening. It was for the first time in the country's history that a Qaumi madrasa was declared closed by the Ministry of Education through an order.
The directive, signed by Syed Asgar Ali, assistant secretary of the Madrasa Department-2 under the Technical and Madrasa Education Division of the Ministry of Education, was sent to the Principal of Madrasa. The Principal was also asked to enforce the directive immediately.
The directive reads that permission was given on conditions on August 24 last for starting the academic activities and taking examinations by the Kitab Departments of Qaumi madrasas.
"Since the conditions imposed have not been followed properly, the Ministry of Education has decided to shut down Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Muinul Islam Madrasa at Hathazari in Chattogram," the order reads.
The copies of the directive were sent to the Cabinet Division Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senior Secretary of the Public safety Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Inspector General of Police, Chattogram Divisional Commissioner, Prime Minister's Personal Secretary-1, Chairman, Al haiyatul Ulum Sil Jamiatul Qaumia Bangladesh, Chattogram Deputy Commissioner, Chattogram Police Super, Education Minister's Personal Secretary, Deputy Education Minister's Personal Secretary, Education Secretary's Personal Secretary, Technical and Madrasa Education Division, and Education Ministry's System Analyst.
Students at the Hathazari Madrasa had been demonstrating since early Wednesday afternoon to press home their five-point demands including the removal of Moulana Anas Madani, assistant education secretary of the madrasa.
The angry students ransacked and vandalised several rooms at the madrasa. From the beginning of the demonstration, Hathazari Madrasa director and Hefajat-e-Islam ameer Allama Ahmad Shafi and other senior teachers were staying at the madrasa.
The agitating students also called upon the law enforcers outside not to intervene in the affairs of madrasa through miking. The demonstrators also demanded to convene an emergency meeting of the Shura Committee on Thursday instead of Saturday. Responding to the call, the Shura Committee convened an urgent meeting at 8:00pm on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, Moulana Anas Madani was relieved of his duties at Hathazari Madrasa. It was also told that the Shura committee would resolve other demands of the students on Saturday. No student would face any harassment.
A large number of law enforcers have taken position in front of the main gate of the madrasa. On the other hand, students have been demonstrating inside the madrasa compound.