The government of Bangladesh on Thursday ordered the closure of the largest and oldest Deobandi Hathazari Madrasa till further orders. The Education Ministry in its order said that the Hathazari Madrasa at Chittagong will be closed due to the breach of conditions. On August 28, the Ministry had allowed Madrasas to resume their academic activities on the condition that the health guidelines issued by the government are followed.
The Madrasa has been facing protests due to internal rift in the organisation on the issue of administrative control of the institution. Students of Madrasa had protested on Wednesday to press for their demands.
The Director General of the Madrasa and influential cleric nonagenarian Shah Ahmad Shafi has also resigned and handed over charge to the Shura Committee, according to media reports. He is also the chief of the hardline Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh.
Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam popoularly known as Hathazari Madrasa was established in 1896. It shifted to its present location in Hathazari, Bangladesh in 1901. It has close to 7000 students. The Madrasa has faced controversy in the past due to its alleged links with Islamist groups such as Hifazat-e-Islam in the country.

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