The madrassa was demolished after Mohammad Ali, a resident of the same village who is associated with BJP, moved the Allahabad HC against what he described as an ‘illegal’ structure
By Hasan Akram
New Delhi: A major portion of a madrassa that used to impart Islamic as well as modern education was demolished in Chand Patti village of Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district. The demolition was carried out at the end of December 2020, on an order passed by the Allahabad High Court.
Speaking to Muslim Mirror, Madrassa chief Abdul Azeem Falahi said that the Islamic seminary had 23 rooms which are now reduced to around four. The demolished part include a library also.
The madrassa named as Darsgah Islami was demolished after Mohammad Ali, a resident of the same village who is associated with BJP, moved the Allahabad HC against what he described as an ‘illegal’ structure. He refused to backtrack despite several attempts by people in the village.
This is a co-educational institution up to class 5. However, it is all-girls from class 6 to 10.
Mr. Falahi said that the madrassa would be rebuilt with the support of villagers. “The land is being seen here for the madrassa. People in the village are enthusiastic to do this task.”
Series of events
The madrassa has been there since 1950. In the initial period, it was in a ‘Maktab’ [elementary Islamic school].During ‘chakbandi’ or land consolidation exercise in Uttar Pradesh in 1970s, the madrassa management urged government officials to allot some land for expansion of the premises.
Madrasa building demolished by the government on court orders.
According to Mr. Falahi, the officials could not give the land to the madrassa as it was a private institute. So, they took out a middle ground. The officials registered 84 sq ft. land as a ‘sports ground’ in their records and told the madrassa management that they could expand the premises to the new plot.
It was due to the allotment of this land that the madrassa got 23 rooms constructed and extended its classes till 10th level.
The problem started when Mohammad Ali in 2016 appealed against expansion of the madrassa on the land registered as a ‘sport ground’ in the Allahabad HC.
The high court referred the matter to the Sagari Tehsil under which the village comes, to look into it. The ‘tehsildar’ or the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), however, gave the verdict in favour of the school.
Mohammed Ali challenged SDM’s verdict in the court of Azamgarh district magistrate (DM) who in October 2019 decided against the school.
However, the local authorities avoided demolition of the school building to take possession of the sports ground.
Mohammed Ali then moved the Allahabad High Court, seeking implementation of the DM’s verdict. The school management sought stay on DM’s order but the high court rejected it.
Mohammed Ali finally got a contempt of court order issued 15 days ago against the SDM for dilly-dallying in removing ‘encroachment’ from the sports ground.
With no option left, Sagari SDM then got the portion of the school building from the government land removed.
Mr. Falahi said that Ali was persuaded to withdraw his case through various means. He was offered to take management of the madrassa in his hand. Falahi was even ready to exchange the ”sports ground” with an equal portion of his own land but Ali did not budge.