A Muzaffarnagar madrasa has come under the spotlight after students and other inmates alleged that on December 20, police forcefully entered their complex while anti-CAA protests were being held in the town, and allegedly beat them up with lathis, forced them to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and called them “terrorists.”
68-year-old Maulana Asad Raza Hussaini claims to be among the ones who were thrashed by police. He has a fractured left arm and both his legs are bandaged.
“They didn’t say anything, they just hit me so much that I fell and someone else fell on me. I didn’t think I’d live but God saved me. I have never seen anything like this, not even during the riots (2013),” The Indian Express quoted the maulana as saying.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Yadav, denied all the charges against police. “We had to do a lathi charge as the protesters had entered the madrasa, but after that, there was no action. Rumours are being spread,” he said.
According to Yadav, a number of protesters had entered the madrasa complex on December 20. “We detained 75 people in all, of whom 28 students were let off the same day. Yesterday, 10 others, who we found were part of the protest, were granted bail because no vandalism charges could be established,” he said.
He added that a press statement was earlier issued by the maulana’s son, Mohammad Hussaini, who refuted allegations of violence by police and their “misdeed.”
However, Hussaini said, “I have only refuted false reports of rectal bleeding and other such claims carried by the media. However, police did beat up people.”
He said this in connection with earlier reports which claimed that several students, including minors, were assaulted and suffered “rectal bleeding.”
According to Irfan Haider, 21, a student who was detained on December 20 and later released, over 150 policemen had barged into the complex around 3:45 pm that day.
“They broke the CCTV cameras, broke open the doors and started hitting us with lathis. We were rounded up and taken to the police station, where we were hit with the butt of guns,” he said, nursing fractures on his right arm and foot.
“Around midnight (on December 20), they gave us a glass of water to be shared by five people. They also forced us to chant Jai Shri Ram,” he added.
Another student, 19-year-old Adil Hussain, who was released on bail, said, “When they entered, there was some commotion — all of us ran here and there. They said, ‘if you try to move, you will be shot.’ After that they thrashed us and took us to the police station.”
“They said Jai Shri Ram keh ke bata. I did so. We were also thrashed. I’m unable to sleep at night and haven’t gone to work since then,” said a 59-year-old government employee on condition of anonymity. He was picked up by police on December 20 when he came to offer namaz in the campus mosque.