The government has shut down the madrasa in Chattogram’s Hathazari amid tensions after protests by students for removal of Anas Madani, son of its Director General and Hifazat-e Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi, as assistant director, reports bdnews24.com.
The Technical and Madrasah Education Division in a letter to the institution on Thursday said it failed to meet the conditions set by the government to resume some activities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The educational institutions in Bangladesh have been closed since mid-March after the government detected the first coronavirus cases.
The shutdown of the institutions has been extended several times to Oct 3, but the government allowed the Qawmi madrasas to hold degree and Masters exams by following the health protocols.
Al Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Uloom Moinul Islam, known as the Hathazari Baro Madrasa, is one of the oldest and largest madrasas in Bangladesh.
It has more than 7,000 students who learn lessons on the basis of the principles of Deoband school of Islam.
Shafi, the Muhtamim or director general of the madrasa, is also the president of Bangladesh Qawmi Madrasa Board – Befaqul Madrisil Arabia Bangladesh.
Qawmi madrasa students call the nonagenarian ‘Baro Hujur’. 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 former assistant director Junayed Babunagri sprang out in the open when the Shura Committee replaced Babunagri with Sheikh Ahmed in June.
Hundreds of students demonstrated on Chattogram-Khagrachhari Road and vandalised furniture inside the madrasa on Wednesday demanding removal of Shafi’s son Anas.
Locals said the demonstration was a result of the dispute between supporters of Shafi and Babunagri.
Police later removed the students from the road. The law enforcers took position outside on Thursday saying tensions simmered inside.