Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi on Wednesday requested the Maharashtra Government not to close down a school run by a trust linked to the banned NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), saying doing so will jeopardise the future of students enrolled there. Azmi made the request when he called on Education Minister Vinod Tawde. He quoted the minister as saying during the meeting that the state government has no plan to close down the institute.
Islamic International School in South Mumbai is operated by the IRF Education Trust, an affiliate of IRF which is promoted by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
Last week, IRF was banned by the Home Ministry for five years under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for its alleged involvement in terror acts. The ban will affect activities of all bodies affiliated with the city-based NGO.
“If the school is shutdown, the future of students studying there will get adversely affected. Their parents and guardians would face immense hardship and people employed in the school would become jobless,” Azmi, also an MLA from the city, said.
He claimed Tawde told him the BJP-led government ‘does not intend’ to close down the school.
“The education minister said the decision to ban the outfit (IRF) was taken by the Centre and the state government does not intend to take any action against the school run by it. Therefore, the students, parents, teachers and people
working there need not worry,” Azmi said.