Darogar Alaga: Villagers of Darogar Alaga Char in Assam’s Goalpara district alleged that they tore down a madrasa on indirect instructions given by the police, a charge dismissed by the Superintendent of Police as baseless.
Locals claimed that the communication was sent to a fellow villager with ties to the force and it was he who asked the people to pull the structure down.
However, the police denied the allegation saying that they were only probing the case of alleged terror links of two persons, who are now absconding, who were teaching in the madrasa.
According to police, the Darogar Alaga madrassa and a reed house in its premises were demolished by villagers themselves on Tuesday after “suspicious jihadi links” emerged with two of its teachers, who were reportedly Bangladeshi.
“I was among those who had toppled two structures. I was working in my jute field on the bank of the river when Shukur Ali (a villager) called me to the madrasa premises. He and five-six others Asked people to help demolish them, local resident Rahim Badshah told PTI here.
Ali is a self-proclaimed BJP worker in the sandbank. His motorcycle has a sticker of lotus (the election symbol of the BJP party). Many such stickers are also visible on the walls of his residence.
“When I asked Ali why we should demolish the madrasa, he said that the SP (Superintendent of Police) and DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) sir have asked us to do so. When I reached the madrasa premises, the media was already there. was present.” claimed the emperor.
Several other villagers corroborated the emperor’s claim.
When asked, Ali admitted that the media had been invited in advance to cover the demolition and that the structures were demolished in front of him. However, he remained silent when the police asked him to demolish the madrasa.
When contacted for his comment, Goalpara Superintendent of Police VV Rakesh Reddy said the force had “absolutely no role” in bringing down the madrasa and the nearby temporary one-room house.
“From our side, the villagers did not get any message saying that they should proceed with it (demolition). Had it been planned, the district administration would have acted accordingly,” Reddy told PTI over phone.
Reddy said the villagers never thought that the madrassa teachers who left suddenly had links with terrorist organisations.
“The teacher was an al-Qaeda jihadist, it was shocking news for them. We are only investigating that case. We have visited the place several times in the past to take statements from the villagers,” he said.
On Monday evening, Ali had reportedly called some village elders to the madrasa premises and claimed that the Goalpara DSP had demanded the demolition of two structures.
One of the villagers who attended the meeting claimed that he had recorded the entire conversation on his mobile phone.
The purported audio clip is in the possession of PTI, where a voice purportedly of Ali is asking people to demolish the madrasa.
“Ali told us that the DSP and the local station in-charge were on their way to meet us on Monday night. He was constantly on the phone and said after sometime that they were not coming,” the villager told PTI. Oblivion.
When asked, the SP said he was not aware of the meeting and hence “cannot comment on speculation”.
“I think whatever is happening in other districts may have acted as a trigger, but we are not sure,” the SP said.
The demolition of the madrasa by Darogar Alga villagers was in contrast to the three cases in Morigaon, Barpeta and Bongaigaon where the respective district administrations had arrested the madrassa for alleged links with terrorist groups after the teachers were arrested.
Another villager Soinuddin Shaikh said, “On Tuesday morning, Ali told me that a police officer would come after sometime and we should demolish the madrasa before he came. I had cut some knots in the reed walls of the house. and left for his work. I was not present when the madrasa was demolished.”
Somesh Ali of Darogar Alga confessed that the structures were demolished as the villagers were frightened by Ali’s purported message to the police and did not want the force to enter their four with heavy equipment like bulldozers.
He said, “The madrassa was built with public money. If we demolish it, the material can be used again for other purposes. So we decided to pull it down before the police arrived.”
He said around 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, about six people demolished the structure within half an hour and there was a crowd of around 25-30 people, mostly women, as the men left for work.
Somesh Ali and Badshah alleged that Ali took all the contents of the Reed House, where the two alleged Bangladeshi nationals lived, to build a clubhouse as per the “direction of the DSP sir”.
Loose sheets of tin and reed walls were seen lying at Ali’s house about 200 meters from the madrasa complex. When asked, Ali did not respond to the allegations.