Muslim educational institutions in the Mumbai region and across the state are planning to hold a consultative meeting together in the coming few days to formulate ways in which they can ensure their students do not get radicalised and are integrated into the society.
The move comes in the wake of the arrest of ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed who had been studying in a Panvel-based college before he decided to join the extremist outfit in Iraq along with three other friends.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is currently questioning Areeb in its custody, is looking at his close associates and institutions he was associated with to find out why and how the 23-year-old was radicalised. The agency is said to have spoken to some of the faculty members of the Panvel-based Kalsekar Technical Institution where Areeb studied.
The institution is run by a leading minority trust which is 170 years old and has over 1.10 lakh students studying in its various institutions across the state.
“We are planning to hold a meeting of all minority educational institutions in the coming few days where we will formulate a plan to counsel our students against radicalisation and to also ensure greater integration into the society,” sources in one of the trusts said.
There are close to a dozen major trusts run by Muslims that own major educational institutions in Maharashtra.
Members of these trusts claim that even though they have remained vigilant against any kind of anti-social activity in their premises, the arrest of Areeb Majeed has made them more conscious of the need to stem spread of radical ideas among students in their
Kalsekar College, in which Areeb studied, is planning to a counselling programme for its 4,000-odd students, which will be organised by the Navi Mumbai police. Sources said the idea was to ensure that the students got aware about the dangers of radicalisation.
The college has, meanwhile, also decided to strengthen its monitoring system to keep an eye on the online footprint of its students. “The folly of only one individual has put a question mark on the credibility of an entire institution,” sources from the college said.
Meanwhile, members of another minority educational trust in north Maharashtra acknowledged the need to ensure greater sensitization of their students about world affairs and ascertain how many of them are being influenced by radical outfits.
“Ours being minority-run institutions, a slight folly from an individual can destroy the credibility of institutions which are working towards educating and empowering the community. There is a definite need for us to take strict measures and hold counselling sessions to ensure no ultra-religious activity takes place in our campuses,” a trustee of a north Maharashtra-based educational institution said.