Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, announced new regulations on Monday, two days after two such clerics were detained for engaging in terrorist activities. The state will now require religious instructors at mosques and madrasas who are from outside the state to register themselves on a government portal.
“The kingpin was one of those detained and was an imam at a mosque. In many villages, he had increased the Jihadi network’s size. Six people from Bangladesh entered Assam to spread the Jihadi network. Assam police have detained one of the six Bangladeshi nationals, while the other five are still at large. The Assam Police will carry on with its duties “Sarma stated.
“We now have some Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that state you must notify the local police for verification if any Imams visit the village. People can employ him as an imam after the police confirm his identity. The Assamese Muslim community is offering its support to us in this “Added he.
Assamese citizens will not be subject to these regulations. “For those who live in Assam, there is no need to register their information. However, those who travel from outside the state must register their information in the portal “said the chief minister.
Recently, Mr. Sarma claimed that Assam has turned into a hub for “jihadi activities.” In the previous five months, five modules connected to the Bangladeshi terrorist organisation Ansarul Islam were discovered.
Since March of this year, the police have made over 40 arrests and are keeping a strict vigil, especially in the areas of lower and central Assam that are predominately populated by minorities, according to reports from news agency PTI, which cited officials.
The two clerics who were recently detained in Assam’s Goalpara district are accused of radicalising Muslim youth in the region and maintaining ties to the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
According to senior police officer VV Rakesh Reddy, who spoke to reporters on Monday in Goalpara, the police have filed a case against the two under the strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and are looking into additional suspects who will likely be apprehended soon.
The two men who were arrested have been named as Abdus Sobahan, a cleric at the Tinkonia Shantipur Masjid under the Mornoi police station, and Jalaluddin, a cleric at the Tilapara Masjid under the Matia police station.
The policeman claimed that Sobahan belonged to AQIS.
According to him, both of the detained clerics had been radicalising young men for the previous three to four years. He continued, “We have also found that they have links with several jihadis arrested in the state earlier and another who was apprehended in West Bengal.”
According to Mr. Reddy, the police have taken several books, posters, and a cellphone from the two men that was being used to communicate with terrorists in Bangladesh.
They were turned over to the Goalpara Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court and placed in police custody for a week.