Police Link Deep South Islamic School to Rebels

Islamic School in Southern Thailand

Muslim students in Pondok Yala, Pattani. Photo: udeyismail / flickr.

Police filed sedition charges against executives of a private Islamic school in Thailand’s Deep South after receiving a formal complaint from the military that the learning institution had links with rebels, officials said Thursday.

Security forces searched the Bakong Pittaya School in Pattani province’s Nong Chik district on Jan. 27 and found anti-government and rebel paraphernalia, along with bomb-making materials and road-drilling equipment, Maj. Gen. Jatuporn Kalumpasutr, commander of the Pattani 46 Task Force, told reporters.

“There could be some teachers using this school to indoctrinate the ideology of fighting against the state, syphoning funds to finance violence activities. They sabotage the state education system, killing teachers from state-run schools to force students to attend this kind of school instead,” Jatuporn said.

“Officials found key evidence leading to a belief they embezzled government subsidies and welfare for students and teachers as well as funds for student lunches and clothing to fund violence,” Jatuporn said, without elaborating.

The school receives 33 million baht ($1.05 million) a year from the state’s free-education-for-all program, he said.

Jatuporn said the school listed 121 teachers, of which 76 were bogus, who collected about 12 million baht ($381,000) in annual salaries. Those funds likely were syphoned to serve extremist purposes.

The Nong Chik district police said the school’s executives were charged with sedition, embezzlement and criminal misconduct, but declined to disclose details or the names of those charged. Sedition carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Full story: BenarNews

Mariyam Ahmad
Pattani, Thailand

Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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