West Bengal, Feb 22: West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday said that the state government has decided to shut down around 125 RSS-affiliated schools. He added that the Mamata Banerjee government has launched a crackdown on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)- inspired schools that are operating without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) or not following the syllabus. Also Read - Bengal Polls 2021: Left-Congress-ISF Alliance Announces Seats That Parties Will contest in First 2 Phases

“The state government has received information on about 493 schools that are inspired by RSS.  Out of these, 125 are running without any no-objection certificate from the government. We have already asked these school authorities that will not be able to operate anymore. The investigation is on against the remaining schools,” the minister said. Also Read - Former India Cricketer Manoj Tiwary to Contest Assembly Election From Shibpur

Upon investigation, it was found that the 125 schools are run mostly by three trusts – Sarada Shishu Tirtha, Saraswati Shishu Mandir, and Vivekananda Vidya Vikas Parishad – that have revealed to be affiliated to the Lucknow-headquartered Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan. Also Read - Mamata to Contest From Nandigram, Releases List of 291 Candidates; 50 Women, 42 Muslims in TMC List

The minister said that there are over 400 schools in West Bengal that are affiliated to the RSS. Only 125 of them do not have a no-objection certificate (NOC), he added. “RSS or nor RSS, schools have to follow certain norms wielding sticks cannot be taught. We are looking into each case that is being brought to our notice,” he said.

“Some schools in Bengal are not in the accordance with the education syllabus. They have not received a NOC from us. We have stopped 125 and we are scrutinizing other schools too. Then only we will take any decision,” the education minister said. Chatterjee added that the government had also received complaints of “radicalisation of students” in some of the 125 RSS schools.

Reacting to the notice of closure of RSS schools, secretary of the RSS for south Bengal, Jisnu Basu, said that before taking any action, the minister should visit the schools and take the first-hand experience of the conditions or how the students are being taught. “The schools that he is trying to close are providing students with good education and hygienic atmosphere. The government needs to focus on improving the standards of primary education in Bengal,” Basu said.