Lucknow, Nov 25: A minister in Uttar Pradesh government today termed the madrasas (Islamic Schools) as "terrorist dens" and demanded that they be closed immediately.
"The madrasas are dens of terrorists.....they churn out terrorists.....those passing out of the madrasas become terrorists," UP minister of state for labour Raghuraj Singh said in Aligarh.
Speaking to reporters, Singh said that there were only 250 madrasas in UP till a few decades back. "Now there are more than 22 thousand madrasas in the state," the minister said.
Singh, while referring to Burhan Wani, who was a top commander of the terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Jammu & Kashmir in 2016, said that he was also a 'product' of a madrasa in the state.
The minister added that he would order the closure of all the madrasas if he got a chance.
Singh's remarks came amid announcement by the Yogi Adityanath government to renovate and modernise the madrasas in the state.
The Muslim clerics and opposition parties slammed the minister for the remarks. "Many, who studied in the madrasas, had fought for the freedom of the country....the minister should read history before making such a statement....he must be sacked immediately," said a Muslim cleric here.
"The remarks reflect the anti-Muslim mindset of the BJP....the minister is not alone in saying so...there are many MLAs in the BJP, who have also made objectionable comments on the Muslims," said a senior Samajwadi Party leader here.