CPIML- AIPWA High Level Team

A high-level team of CPIML and AIPWA visited Bihar Sharif on April 9th to assess the situation after the violence that was unleashed by right-wing goons during Ram Navami festival. The team was prevented by the administration from visiting the area, but after persistent effort, the CPIML-AIPWA team met affected families at the local party office.

The team strongly condemned the incident and said that the administration's attitude was undemocratic. CPIML Politburo member and AIPWA General Secretary Com. Meena Tiwari said that despite evidence of a pre-planned conspiracy to instigate violence, the police and administration remained as a mute spectator.

Allowing sword-brandishing Ram Navami processions with hate-filled slogans, songs and speeches near mosques and across predominantly Muslim-inhabited neighbourhoods are the brazen examples of administrative lapses and even connivance. Several cases of vandalism and violence, like the shocking destruction of the Azizia madrasa and library in Bihar Sharif actually took place after Ram Navami was al-ready over, Com. Meena Tiwari added.

The violence that began on March 31, according to reports was coordinated over Whatsapp groups and social media in a pre-planned conspiracy by Sangh-RSS to infiltrate the procession and to destroy the communal harmony in Bihar, a state where BJP recently lost power. 

Com. Shashi Yadav, CPIML CCM and AIPWA state secretary said that despite prohibitory orders in the area, there were incidents of violence and looting in Chaura bagheecha on 7 April, which is extremely alarming. She further noted that rather investigating its own lapses and the role of RSS- Sangh, the administration is targeting Muslim community.

The team noted that it was the local unity between Muslim and Hindu neighbours that prevented the violence from spiralling out of control. When the mob attacked Muslim community and were indulged in looting shops and property, the local population, cutting across religious lines risked their lives and intervened to stop the communal frenzy.

This proves the role of outsiders brought in by right-wing groups like Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS to create communal violence and polarization under the grab of festival.

Not only shops of Muslim community were looted and burnt in Bihar Sharif . The historical Azizia Madrasa and library was completely destroyed. Soghra College was also set on fire. The 110-year-old madrasa housed a rich library, next only to the iconic Khuda Baksh Library of Patna. The library's entire collection of 4,500-odd books, including many rare ones, has now been turned into ashes. The madrasa was established by renowned philanthropist and educationist Bibi Soghra in memory of her husband Moulavi Abdul Aziz who had quit his government job to join the great 1857 War of Independence. Apart from being a heritage cultural centre, it also served as a model madrasa imparting modern education to around five hundred boys and girls.

The team noted that demonisation of madrasas as a training ground of terrorists is central to the Islamophobic propaganda of the Sangh brigade, and the destruction of the Azizia madrasa takes this anti-madrasa campaign to a new level.

The high level team, which also included Comrades Gopal Ravidas (CPIML MLA from , Anita Sinha, Juhi Nisha, Afsa Jabi, Arifa Anis, Savitri Devi, Girija Devi among others also called for investigating into the role of local BJP MLA Sunil Singh in Bihar Sharif incident. The role of administration is in doubt and therefore action should be taken against SP.

The CPIML- AIPWA team also demanded that government should ensure proper survey the losses and compensation should be given to affected families. The historic Azizia Madarsa and the Sogra College should be reconstructed.

CPIML and AIPWA r also announced that from 11th to 14th April there will be a Sadbhavna solidarity campaign  in Bihar against the Sangh’s communal polarisation attempts and violence and a harmony program will be organised in Bihar Sharif on 14th April.