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Saturday, September 28, 2013

‘Train travel not safe’, Darul Uloom plans to cancel Bakrid holidays

'Train travel not safe', Darul Uloom plans to cancel Bakrid holidays

Apprehending attacks on its students during train journeys in the wake of Muzaffarnagar riots, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom in Deoband is planning to cancel their Bakrid holidays when they mostly travel by train to go home.

The holidays are scheduled from October 1 to 20.

An urgent meeting of Majlis-e-Taleem (Academic Council) has been convened on Saturday to take the final call on the matter.

The seminary has identified a 100-km stretch, between Muza and Meerut, as most dangerous for its students.

"Our students are easily identified by their beards and skull caps. They have been attacked several times on trains and sustained serious injuries. As the situation continues to be tense after the Muzaffarnagar violence, we are still undecided about declaring Bakrid holidays. We may cancel the holidays and ask our students to not go to their respective homes," Maulana Ashraf Usmani, a teacher and Press Secretary of the seminary, told The Indian Express on Friday.

The seminary has also brought the issue to the notice of the district administration with the latter assuring that students will be provided security and policemen will travel with them in every train compartment.

"The proposal is not practical, as the district administration wants us to notify the exact travel dates of the students," Usmani said.

Besides, students would return on different dates, making it more difficult to provide them with security.

Several incidents of attacks on students of Darul Uloom, Deoband were reported in trains during the first week of September. Many of them were assaulted and thrown from the train. They were also humiliated.

"Train journeys are no more safe for our students. We have met railway officials in New Delhi and also informed Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav and CM Akhilesh Yadav. No action has been taken so far. Safety of our students is our top priority,'' Usmani said.

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