Published: 31st December 2019
Muzaffarnagar Maulana who received President's Award allegedly stripped, beaten by UP Police, inside the madrasa
Sources suggest that the Maulana is now under pressure to return the award. 40 students from his Madrasa were also detained
On August 15 2019, Muzzaffarnagar's Maulana Syed Raza Hussaini was conferred with the Indian President's Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman for his contributions to the Arabic Language. Now, towards the year-end, this 75-year-old Shia scholar is allegedly contemplating returning the award. On the night of December 20, he was allegedly stripped and beaten badly by the UP Police, inside Sadat hostel, a residential Madrasa for the underprivileged.
"The Maulana is too embarrassed and petrified to speak," says Salman Sayeed, an INC activist from the area. Sayeed had also had two of his cars burned on that night. "He was humiliated by the UP Police, who tried to communalise the anti-NRC-CAA protests. They tried to create a situation similar to the 2013 riots. I had to rush to the Madrasa with clothes for Maulana Sahib. There were barely any on his bruised body," he says.
Owing to this incident, Sayeed says that there have been talks inside Hussaini's family and the community about returning the award. Fake news and photographs that equated Hussaini to a stone pelter had also gone viral around that time.
A fact-finding report prepared by the team of activists including Kavita Krishnan and Yogendra Yadav says that, on the same night, 40 students of the Sadat hostel were detained by the police. "Every minute, there were police and civilians with iron rods entering the hostel building and beating up the students. Some of them had their limbs broken," says Sayeed. "Of the detained students, around 25 were minors. A few others were locked up inside a room for three days. They did not even have access to bathrooms. They were continuously tortured," he says.