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Three seminary teachers booked under PSA in Shopian

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Academy head denies charges

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police Monday said it has booked three teachers of a religious school in Shopian district under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) after it came to the fore that some of its students and alumni were found involved in militant activities.
Its alumni include Sajjad Bhat, an accused in the February 2019 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama that had left 40 personnel dead.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar told a press conference here the school is affiliated with the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) outfit.
The school’s name is Siraj-uloom Imam Sahib. It is not that this school has not been under observation. We have already booked three teachers of the school namely Abdul Ahad Bhat, Rouf Bhat and Mohammad Yusuf Wani under the PSA, Kumar told the reporters.
He said about half a dozen other teachers of the school were under surveillance.
(Conduct of) five to six teachers of the school are under surveillance (under Section 107 CrPC). Basically, the affiliation of the school is with JeI. It is under surveillance, and right now we are taking action against individuals and if need arises, we will take action against the school, the IGP said.
Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) deals with any likely breach of peace or public tranquility.
The religious school in south Kashmir’s Shopian district came under the scanner of investigating agencies after 13 of its students were found to have joined terror groups.
The school mainly has students from Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir, considered by intelligence agencies to be the hotbeds of militancy and breeding grounds for local recruits in various terror groups, officials said.
The Public Safety Act (PSA) enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial.
However, Chairman Siraj Ul Uloom, Muhammad Yousuf Matoo called these allegations as baseless.
“We refute these allegations, some of the students who had became militants had already left the seminary and were home for a longer period before joining the militant ranks,” he said.
Regarding Sajad, who is accused in Lethpora attack, he said, “We have no role in it. Sajad who police says was involved in Lethpora attack has been student here for some months and had left long back. He was at his home and reportedly was a mechanic before joining militants how come our religious school has a role in it.”
He also refuted the affiliations of the teachers with the school mentioned by police related to militancy.
“None of the teachers which police claims were arrested have been our teachers ever,” he added.
“They talk about Baramulla student, he was here for 10 to 12 days in March during lockdown. Then some time back he had come back to submit his form,” Matoo added.
“We are open to answer every question to any media group. They can come and check our teaching and other affairs here. Anyone can check about our finances, syllabus and resources. We are registered with income tax department and the government as well,” he said.
He said that NCERT syllabus is being taught at the seminary and the college is affiliated with BOSE and Kashmir University. (with inputs from PTI, KNS)


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