SALEPUR: The overcrowded Madrasa, run by suspected Al Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operative Abdul Rehman Kataki at Bilateruan in Tangi-Choudwar block of Cuttack district, wore a deserted look with all the 60 students leaving the school on Saturday.
Except one who belongs to Chandikhol locality, all other 59 students belonging to Jharkhand were taken away by their parents and guardians, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), Cuttack, Pragati Mohanty said.
“Parents and guardians of the students went to the Madrasa and wanted to take back their children. They were allowed to take their children back after verification of their identity proof,” Mohanty said.
All the 59 students, accompanied by their parents and guardians, reached Cuttack railway station to return to their native places.
Meanwhile, after the Madrasa was vacated, Commissionerate Police whisked away four Maulavis and a Hafiz from the Madrasa to Jagatpur police station. The Maulavis and Hafiz were released after being interrogated over funding and functioning of the Madrasa, ACP Trinath Mishra said.
Sources said two special police teams formed by Commissionerate Police will go to Delhi and Jharkhand on Sunday to gather more information in the case.
There were 85 students in the age group of 5-17 in the two asbestos-roofed rooms of the Madrasa run by Rehman. Almost all the inmates belong to poor families. Rehman lured them with free food and education.
The students, who were living in miserable conditions in the Madrasa, were being forced to obey the strict rules imposed by Rehman. They were prohibited from using mobile phones, listening to radio, watching television and reading newspapers. “Our Maulavi says Satan is staying in the television,” said six-year-old Riaz.