Source: News Bharati English07 May 2016 16:37:02
Saudi Arabia is known for funding the madras’s and other educational institutions throughout the world. But mostly it is a silent affair performed behind the curtain. But the appearance of Saudi prince in person is rare. That is why the presence of Prince of Saudi Arabia Al-Jarba Khaled Wattban Sheikh in Manipur is noteworthy. But as with many events of North East, it received little attention.
In fact, on a two day official visit to Manipur, the prince laid foundation stones for Al-Jarba Multi-Specialty Hospital, Al-Jarba Higher Education College and Al-Jarba Masjit under Jamia Halima Aziz Educational Trust. He even assured his support to the Trust to improve the religion of Islam in other state of India.
Although the presence of Islam in Manipur can be traced back to few Centuries earlier, the current population of Muslims in Manipur is only about 8.32 % or about 2 lakh and is restricted to the Pangal community.
In 2013, there were reports of about 20 Manipuri Muslims joining Al-qiada. Two Saudi nationals were also arrested in suspicious conditions from Tengnoupal in Chandel district by the Assam Rifles.Ther are about 4-5 Muslim militant organizations active in Manipur.
On this background the active interest of Saudi Arabia in this region is certainly not without ramifications.