Later in the day, a five-member team of the Council met Principal Secretary of the Minority Affairs Department and Madrasa Education Shahidul Islam at the temporary State Secretariat Nabanna.

Alleging that State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has not kept her promise of recognising 10,000 madrasas in the State, about 1,000 teachers of madrasas spread across the State started a fast-unto-death here on Wednesday.

“The Chief Minister had promised to grant recognition to 10,000 madrasas when she came to power in 2011. She declared the madrasas as unaided to ensure that they recieve financial assistance from the Centre. However, after three years, only 237 madrasas have been given recognition with no financial aid whatsoever,” general secretary of the All Bengal Minority Council Muhammad Kamruzzaman told The Hindu.

According to a circular dated February 8, 2013, joint secretary of the Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education Department P.B. Salim had directed that all the 10,000 madrasas would be given the benefits of unaided educational institutions — infrastructural grants, additional class rooms, MPLAD funds, government text books to students of classes VI, VII and VIII free of cost, mid-day meal facilities, etc.

“Even after a year of the circular being passed, precious little has been done. The madrasas are suffering from severe lack of funds. Only books have been provided and mid-day meal scheme is functional in only four madrasas. We want a clear answer why the other institutions are being denied their rightful share. At a time when the State government is announcing employment schemes for the unemployed, why do the madrasa teachers have to go about doing their work without getting paid?” Mr. Kamruzzaman said.

Later in the day, a five-member team of the Council met Principal Secretary of the Minority Affairs Department and Madrasa Education Shahidul Islam at the temporary State Secretariat Nabanna.

“Although Mr. Islam said he would look into the matter, we are not assured. We want the assurance of a Cabinet Minister or [Education Minister] Partha Chatterjee regarding the matter. Our fast is still on and we shall keep fasting until all the 10,000 madrasas are declared as unaided,” assistant secretary of the All Bengal Minority Council Abdul Moman told The Hindu.

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