Lucknow girl’s madrasa – Not a case of sexual harassment but battle of control between two rivals

Lucknow: A section of media is going wild and circulating unsubstantiated claims over 52 girl students rescued from a madrasa in Lucknow for alleged sexual harassment. New details which emerged today, shows that the madrasa row is actually a battle of control between two rival groups.

The madrasa manager, Taiyab Zia Ashraf (38), is booked under Sections 376 (rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

On the condition of anonymity, a local resident told that there was a dispute between the madrasa’s manager Taiyab Zia Ashraf and the proprietor Syed Mohammad Jilani Ashraf for a long time. The accused had also informed Sadatganj police about the same.

On one hand, police says that the students have spoken of sexual abuse in the statement and ownership of property is the subject of investigation. On the other hand, some guardians said that the students did not inform them about sexual abuse in the madrasa, reported a Hindi daily Jagran.

Ramesh Verma, who runs a medical store near the madrasa, said there was a dispute between Taiyab and Jilani over possession of the madrasa. “I never heard that girls at the madrasa were being harassed,” he said, reported The Indian Express.

Initially, it was claimed that the police raided the madrasa late night on Friday in Yaseenganj area under Saadatganj police station after they received “letters” from the girl students saying they have been held hostage and are being sexually harassed.

However, a report published yesterday morning in a Hindi daily Jagran said that the police was actually called by Taiyab Ziya, the accused on Thursday. The report also said Syed Ashraf Jeelani, who claimed to have donated the land for the madrasa, was in the madrasa to “confirm the allegations of harassment and sexual abuse against Taiyab Ziya”.

But, Taiyab Ziya called the police and in a written complaint accused that Jeelani was threatening to kidnap him, the report said.

The report quoted Syed Ashraf Jeelani that the land on which the madrasa was running was donated by him and it was he who had appointed Taiyab Ziya as manager. But, Taiyab Ziya later sidelined Jeelani and took total control of the madrasa in his hand.

The report also said that the police was able to broker peace between the two rivals. It was when the police was leaving the madrasa premises with Syed Ashraf Jeelani that a piece of paper was thrown at them in which the girls while alleging that they were being sexually harassed by the manager sought their help.

Following this, the report said, Syed Jeelani met the ASP and registered a complaint against Taiyab Ziya. Taking action on Jeelani’s complaint the police went to Madrasa once again and rescued as many as 51 girls from the madrasa.

Meanwhile, Zia was produced in a court which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. A further investigation in the case is also underway, and the case has also been reported to the Child Welfare Committee.