On the occasion of Ram Navami, a significant day for many, some people involved in hate politics set fire to the Azizia Library in Bihar Sharif. This 110-year-old library housed around 4,500 books on Islamic literature and divinity, most of which have now been destroyed.
The Azizia Madrasa imam and the library director expressed their anguish at how communal violence has stolen a piece of history. The library was considered as valuable as Patna’s Khuda Baksh Public Library, which contains hundreds of books on Quranic interpretations alone.
Azizia Madrasa and Shamsul Huda Madrasa in Patna are two of the oldest madrasas in Bihar. Bibi Sogra established them in 1910 in memory of her husband Abdul Aziz. The madrasa began to work to improve education in the community in 1920, after recognition by the then-British government.
It was associated with the Madrasa Azizia, one of Bihar’s oldest madrasas, established in 1920 with recognition from the British government.
Violence and Fire damage Madrasa
Madrasa Azizia, which is affiliated with the Madarsa Board and had approximately 500 students enrolled, suffered significant losses due to the library fire. Maulana Qasim, the director of Madarsa, stated that all the books, including student papers and grade sheets, were burned in the fire.
The building itself also suffered cracks, which will need to be repaired before classes can resume. Once internet services are restored, the Madrasa board will be asked to provide report cards and funds will be requested to rebuild the structure.
Qasmi claimed that there was a previous failed attempt to attack Madrasa in 2017. He claimed that following the 1981 riots in Biharsharif, numerous families sold their properties and moved to other areas. However, a sizeable Muslim population still resides near the madrasa and the mosque.
A member of the peace committee, Akbar Azad, 70, said the procession was peaceful until some people forced them to sing Jai Shri Ram. After this incident, the crowd became chaotic and stone throwing began. Azad was severely attacked and was unable to receive timely medical assistance. He had to stay bleeding in his house all night.
WhatsApp Group Used for Violence
NDTV reported that, according to the Bihar Police, Kundan Kumar and Kishan Kumar were responsible for orchestrating the anti-Muslim violence in Bihar Sharif.
The police claimed that the two accused individuals had used social media and a WhatsApp group with 456 members to plan and carry out the violence.
Jitendra Singh Gangawar, the Additional Director General of Police, stated that the accused had circulated fabricated videos portraying Muslims in a negative light and incited other members of the WhatsApp group to engage in violent behavior against them.
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