Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, Dec 17: The students in the madrassa at Tangi in Cuttack district, run by suspected al Qaeda terrorist and the residents of Paschima Kachha village, today expressed surprise over the arrest of Md Abdur Rahman, whom they respected like a teacher.
"We do not know anything about his terror activity. He asks us to perform Namaz five times a day and teaches religious tenets," said a student from Jharkhand as he packed his luggage to vacate the institution.
The father of the 15-year-old boy, who came here to take his son back to Jharkhand, said: "We are poor people. We send boys to study and not to become a terrorist."
Meanwhile, anxiety and unease were written large on the faces of Paschima Kachha residents as the sleepy village came under media glare and police presence after Rahman was arrested by the Delhi police on Wednesday after a midnight raid.
A joint team, comprising both urban and rural police of Cuttack today scrutinised the activities of Rahman's madrassa. The state government has made it clear that Rahman was running the madrassa without having valid registration since 2013.
Meanwhile, the state unit of the BJP has blamed BJD government for rapid spread of madrassas across the state. Official sources said that while there is only one madrassa run by the state government, 78 other such institutions got full government funding and 138 others get part grant-in-aid.
Senior BJD MLA and member of the State Wakaf Board Ayub Khan, however, said that almost all Muslim-dominated villages have one madrassa each. But many of them are not registred as per the law. He blamed the Board for not regulating the privately-run madrassa in the state.