NEW DELHI, April 4, (Reuter): The Chief Minister of India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir State today announced a government takeover of Islamic schools to save the young from the “poisonous influence of fundamentalists”.

Dr. Farooq Abdullah told the State Assembly all educational institutions run by the JamaatIIslami (Islamic party) would be taken over, the Press Trust of India said.

He was also considering halting State grants to all private schools in order to reorganize education throughout the Moslem majority state.

Ignoring protests and a walkout by the four legislators of the Moslem United Front which is backed by JamaatIIslami, Abdullah said he would rather close schools than let them replace religious teaching with “fundamental hatred”.

Abdullah was making his first speech to the Assembly since his National Conference won elections last month in coalition with the Congress (1) of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Despite the alliance’s crushing victory politicians have warned that fundamentalism could increase unless Abdullah brings economic progress to the Moslem community largely concentrated in the scenic Kashmir valley.

The State is claimed by Moslem Pakistan. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Jammu and Kashmir.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 10, 1987