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Over a lakh protest in Kolkata against branding of madrassas as terror hubs
Saturday November 29, 2014 9:31 PM, IANS

Traffic in the eastern metropolis virtually came to a standstill Saturday as lakhs of supporters of the West Bengal unit of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind held a massive rally protesting the branding of madrassas as "breeding ground of terrorist activities" following the Oct 2 Burdwan blast.

Jamiat Rally
[File photo of a similar rally organised by Jamiat-e-Uleme, West Bengal on October 20, 2014.]

Truckloads of associates of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind converged at the Shahid Minar grounds in the central part of the city to raise their voices against the linking of terrorist activities with madrassas.

Arterial stretches connecting the north and southern parts of Kolkata to the central hub were clogged with vehicles as the rallyists marched towards the Minar from key locations in the city like Howrah, Sealdah and Park Circus railway stations.

According to the organisation's Bengal unit president Siddiqullah Chowdhury, the allegations were creating a divide between Hindus and Muslims.

"Madrassas are not centres for promoting terrorist activities. It is an insult to us... the anti-Islamic comments that are circulating, blaming Muslims for terrorist activities in the state," he said.

The accidental bomb explosion in a house in Khagragarh in Burdwan district left two suspected Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants dead and another injured and broke the lead on the most sensational jihadi terrorist conspiracy in the state in recent times.

The incident brought the madrasas under scanner with the National Investigation Agency, that is probing the blasts, claiming that the accused and other recruits were trained at madrassas in Simulia and Lalgola in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts, respectively.

"There are terrorist forces which are trying to put a blot on our image and force us to go the wrong path," said the organisation's general secretary Mahmood Madani.

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