Arrest of Madrasa Students: UP Minorities Commission Seeks Action Against Officials

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Students allegedly sent to juvenile home based on their religious identity; commission urges accountability

Team Clarion 

KANPUR – The Uttar Pradesh Minorities Commission has taken a firm stand against the detention of madrasa students by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and recommended disciplinary action against the officials involved.

The April 24 arrest of the madrasa students has sparked widespread concern over religious discrimination.

The issue arose from a complaint filed by the Principal of Madrasa Islamia in Kanpur District’s Ghatampur town. The complaint was heard by the Chairman of the Commission, Ashfaq Saifee, earlier this week. It detailed the alleged wrongful actions taken by the RPF officials. According to the principal, several students, including Rahbar Alam, Sahib Babu, Muhammad Nafees, and others, were detained at Kanpur railway station despite having valid tickets and identification papers.

Chairman Ashfaq Saifee explained the situation: “On May 15, 2024, Sub-Inspector Amit Dwivedi from the Railway Protection Force appeared before the commission but did not submit any report or explanation regarding the complaint. A rehearing was scheduled for May 28, but no representative from the Railways attended.” Saifee further mentioned that it was clear that the opposing party had failed to file any reply as to its stand in the relevant case.

The complaint outlined that the students, traveling from Bihar to Kanpur after their madrasa holidays, were stopped and later sent to a juvenile home based on their appearance and names, which indicated they were Muslims. The students allegedly spent eight hours in RPF custody without food or water before being transferred to Kanpur’s Child Reform Home for seven days, where they were housed with children exhibiting criminal behaviour.

“The role of the officials and officials concerned in the said case is not in line with their official duties,” Saifee stated. “Appropriate action has been recommended against them as per prevailing rules, and instructions have been given to inform the commission of the action taken.”

The principal of Madrasa Islamia emphasised the severe disruption in the studies of the students. The RPF’s actions constituted a violation of their fundamental constitutional rights, he said. “Despite presenting valid travel tickets and identity cards, the Railway Protection Force Kanpur took discriminatory action and harassed the students,” the principal asserted. “Placing children in juvenile homes without any reasonable cause is a reflection of abuse of action and position by the concerned officers and personnel,” he further said.

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