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Madrassa student set afire in West Bengal village Bhagwanpur

Kolkata, Zaidul Haque(TCN): Close on the heels of negative propaganda by media post-Burdwan blasts, a mysterious incident of attempted burning of a Madrassa student in a village near here, allegedly by a suspected radical group, has given rise to communal tension.

Madrassa student set afire in West Bengal village Bhagwanpur

Representational Image: TCN

Amiruddin Khan (16), a student was set afire by unidentified persons after tying him to a window of the Madrasa Hafiz-e-Quran at Bhagwanpur Madrassa Darul Uloom late at around 9.15 pm on October 21. Khan, who had stepped out of the Madrassa building for Wazu, suffered 70% burns and is fighting for life at a nursing home here.

There are about 175 students and 17 teachers at this Madrassa. Most of the students come from poor families.

Head Mudarris of Bhagwanpur Madrassa Mufti Yahia Khan told TCN “On Tuesday night around 9.15pm, Amiruddin, a student of Hifz department, went to the pond just behind the Madrassa premises for Wazu. Barely few minutes later, we heard shouts of ‘save save’ from outside. When students and teachers went outside, they saw Amiruddin tied up to the Madrassa window. He was set afire.”

Khan was quickly released and his clothes removed to stop fire. Without delay, he was taken to the nearest Bhagwanpur Primary Health Centre. Police too was called in. Officer In-charge of Bhagwanpur police station Shambhu Das reached the hospital with his team and later also went to the Madrassa for investigation.

Being in a critical situation, Khan was shifted to Tamluk District Hospital and later transferred to Kolkata for better treatment.

Mufti Yahia Khan said, “When he could speak, Amiruddin told us about the incident. When he had stepped out for Wazu, then four unknown person picked him up and tied him to the iron grill of the Madrassa window. One of them poured kerosene on his body and set him fire. Moments later, they fled on motorbikes.”

The incident has raised communal tension in Bhagwanpur area, which falls under the Bhagwanpur police station of Purba Medinipur district. Police have started the investigation but no one has been arrested till October 23. “A case has been filed at Bhagwanpur police station, we will take necessary action,” police superintendent of Purba Medinipur district Sukesh Jain said.

Meanwhile, the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind observed a ‘Dua day’ on Friday. State secretary of Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) Samir Putatunda has demanded a CBI investigation into the incident.

Member of the Bhagwanpur Panchayat Samity Abhijit Das, local social activist Safiullah Mallick visited the madrassa next morning and appealed locals to maintaining peace and communal harmony.

District Jamiat e Ulama e Hind leader Maulana Abdus Samad, informed the secretary Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury about the incident, who in turn, met Amiruddin on Wednesday evening at the nursing home here and assured him all help.

After his visit, Chowdhury told TCN, “The incident is very painful. After the partition of the country, there was never such incident in any of the madrassa premises. The fanatic groups are creating communal riots around the Madrassas in West Bengal. They want to destroy the Madrassa system and create communal tension.”

He also vowed that if within a day police did not arrest the culprits, then Jamit e Ulama e Hind will stage a massive demonstration in the Purba Medinipur district.

Putatundu too condemned the incident and said, “A radical group wants to malign the madarassa. They are trying to destroy the communal harmony. This kind of attitude should be stopped. When the NIA is investigating in the state about the madrasa to find out the terrorist activities, then they should take up the Amiruddin case too.”

Beside the NIA investigation, Putatunda also demanded a CBI enquiry into the incident.

Amiruddin Khan hails from Shabra village of Paschim Medinipur district under the Belda police station. His brother Sader Khan said, Amiruddin was admitted in this madrasa on 20 August.

“He had re-joined after the Eid ul Adha vacation on Tuesday. Due to poverty, Amiruddin was admitted here for free lodging, food and study offered by the Madrassa,” Sader Khan said, adding, “We demand immediate arrest of culprits and exemplary punishment for them.”

Bhagwanpur MLA Ardhendu Maity too visited the Madrasa on Wednesday and talked with the management and assured Yahia Khan, “Those associated with this notorious incident will be punished. The Madrasa has no boundary wall, we will try to donate (money) from his MLA lad fund to the madrasa to build a fencing around it.”

Neighboring Chandipur MLA Amiya Bhattacharye also visited the madrassa on Thursday and met the teachers there.

Both MLAs appealed the Madrassa management and local people to maintain communal harmony.

News source: http://twocircles.net/2014oct24/1414170091.html