School torched by Hindutva mob in Delhi pogrom sealed, Muslim owner arrested

On February 24, Hindu mobs had barged into the Rajdhani Public School, Shiv Vihar , and burnt some classrooms and vandalized property.  Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

The Delhi police crime branch has sealed a private school that was torched by a Hindu mob in the violence unleashed in north-east Delhi and arrested its owner Faisal Farooq in connection with the ‘riot’.

“We have arrested the owner of Rajdhani Public School, Shiv Vihar, and are probing his role in the riots,” a police officer said.

On February 24, Hindu mobs had barged into the school, and burnt some classrooms and vandalized property. 

School principal Sadaf Faisal told Hindustan Times a team of Delhi police’s crime branch sealed the school on Friday evening. “Two officials from the crime branch visited our school without any prior notice on Friday evening and sealed 16 rooms and the main gate. We have not even been told on what basis they sealed the school,” she said.

The sealing of school has triggered panic among students and their parents.

“It’s absolutely shocking to know that our daughter’s school has been sealed by the police. We are really worried about her exams that were scheduled to take place from Wednesday,” Vaishnavi, mother of a class 6 student told HT.

“We have no idea why we are being punished? My husband and I have worked in the field of education throughout our lives. We do not know why police are trying to defame us by linking my husband’s name to the violence,” Sadaf spoke to HT that the Delhi police crime branch arrested her husband and the owner of the school, Faisal Farooq, on Saturday evening.

The sealing of school has triggered panic among students and their parents. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Rajdhani school: A base to launch attacks

Terrace of Rajdhani public school, a three-story building became a convenient and strategic location to unleash violence by dropping petrol bombs, firing guns and pelting bricks. Containers of bricks and unused petrol bombs and gun cartridges are seen on the terrace.

“They hijacked the whole school. Me, my wife and my children were trapped for more than 45 hours in a room in the other school,” Mr. Manoj, the guard at School told Maktoob.

“An armed mob with sticks, stones, and guns camped in the school. There were more than 500 people,” Manoj added.

“The police came to the site only after 48 hours,” he told Maktoob.

Earlier, Sadaf and Faisal Farukh told media even after repeated calls to the police they did not turn up for help.

Rioters roam around

Those who really destroyed the school and indulged in the violence are not charged and arrested by Delhi Police, a resident of Shiv Vihar who lives nearby school told Maktoob.

“We were the victims of hatred and violence and now we are being targeted by policemen too,” he added.

HT also reported that the school on Monday moved a Delhi court, challenging the sealing and arrest of its owner.

“There are reports that the Delhi police is making the Muslim victims, who were harmed and lost their properties, as accused in the violence. It has arrested thousands of people and filed hundreds of cases but did not reveal the names of the accused. Activists moved the court asking the police to reveal the details of the arrested ones and the cases,” Delhi based journalist Waquar Hasan wrote in an article published in The Companion.

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