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Madrasas in Kashmir spreading ‘disinformation’, Army chief Rawat urges more control

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New Delhi: The government is looking at ways to bring madrasas in Kashmir ‘under control’, as they are “incorrectly” informing students and spreading disinformation, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said Friday.

Taking a hard line on the education system of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Rawat came down strongly on government-run schools as well, claiming teachers were “misleading” students.

“What is being incorrectly informed to them (youth of Kashmir) is through the madrasas and the masjids. Some control has to be exercised on them. That is what we are looking at – can these be brought under control?” the Army chief said at his annual press conference, responding to questions about radicalisation in Kashmir.

Rawat said the education system of the state needed a major revamp, and made a case for opening more “CBSE schools”. “You will be surprised that in the government schools in Kashmir, teachers are teaching something that should not be taught. You will find two maps, one is a map of India and the other of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. What is the need for that? What does this mean to a child’s mind?” he asked.

Terming it a “basic grassroots problem”, Rawat said education in government schools was wrong, since teachers themselves had been brought up in the same environment.

“(Among) those picking up guns, there will be one odd Ph.D. scholar. But you don’t see a terrorist coming out of Burn Hall (an elite missionary school in Srinagar). Most come from schools where there is a lot of disinformation and the education being given is wrong,” Rawat said.

On operations in Kashmir in this year, the Army chief said that while the focus for the past few months had been on south Kashmir, troops would be redeployed in anti-infiltration mode soon. Rawat said the focus would now be on north Kashmir, to stop infiltration on the border and prevent Pakistani army posts from providing cover for militants trying to cross over.

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