GOA MUSLIMS OUTRAGED AT MADRASA RAID

A section of the Muslim community in Goa on December 17 expressed outrage at the way in which the police raided a madrasa in the port town of Vasco and picked up 88 girl students and six teachers for ‘verification’.

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A section of the Muslim community in Goa on December 17 expressed outrage at the way in which the police raided a madrasa in the port town of Vasco and picked up 88 girl students and six teachers for ‘verification’. The Association of All Goa Muslim Jamaats has demanded immediate suspension of the police inspector and the deputy superintendent of police who led the police team that stormed the seminary. “We have nearly 88 girls studying and residing at the madrasa, most of whom are minors who were resting in their rooms when the raid occurred,” said Tahir Karol, who runs the madrasa.

“The police demanded that the girls immediately come to the police station without delay. When we explained that the girls needed to get dressed, the two officers asked us if they roamed naked in the madrasa. This is shocking. How can responsible police officers speak about minors in such a vulgar manner,” Tahir remarked. Tahir also slammed the police of accusing the madrasa students and management of stashing weapons.

“They should have searched the premises for weapons, but they did not. The police loaded nearly 15 girls to a jeep, with male constables escorting them while taking them to the police station. Can you imagine the stress and shame the minor girls went through?” the madrasa in-charge questioned. The girls, most of whom hail from Karnataka and Goa, were released after being detained for nearly three hours.

Tahir admitted that there had been a delay in submitting verification forms to the police because of a communication lapse between the police constables on the beat and the management. “We had the file containing information on every student ready. The constable was supposed to pick it up from us, but he did not come for several days. The police reaction was shocking. For a moment during the raid, I felt so humiliated that I felt like becoming a terrorist,” Tahir exclaimed.

He said that the seminary had been functioning for the last 10 years and its officials had always cooperated with the police. Salim Kazi, general secretary of the Association, also denounced the incident and accused the police of terrorising the minority community in Goa.