LUCKNOW—Right-wing elements belonging to Hindu Yuva Vahini are alleged to be behind planting liquor in a ‘madrasa’ in the Kushinagar district of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
However, the Hindu outfit has rejected the allegations.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested the ‘madrasa’ manager and two activists of the Vahini.
While the ‘madrasa’ manager has been identified as Irshad Ahmed, Hindu Vahini activists who have been arrested are Vinod Yadav and Dhyanchand Yadav.
The locals alleged that the Hindu Yuva Vahini activists- Vinod Yadav and Dhyanchand Yadav – had planted the liquor bottles in the ‘madrasa’ located in Ansari Tola Gram Panchayat area, which was closed for the past two years due to the COVID crisis.
According to the locals, a joint team of crime branch officials, Ramkola police and the state excise department raided Madrasa Irshadul Uloom. Its manager identified as Irshad Ahmed has been arrested by the raiding team.
However, Irshad’s family members have alleged that the ‘madrasa’ was closed for the past two years and asked the police to find the real culprits who had kept liquor in the ‘madrasa’. They pointed out that Hindu Yuva Vahini leader Raghavendra Pratap alias Rajan runs two liquor factories in the region. The present incident is a part of a criminal political conspiracy to defame the ‘madrasa’. Vinod Yadav and Dhyanchand Yadav are reported to be associates of Rajan.
When questioned about the allegation, Rajan denied his involvement in planting liquor bottles in the ‘madrasa’. He told India Tomorrow that “Irshad is my childhood friend”. However, he agreed that he runs two liquor factories.
Police officer Ramkola Durgesh Kumar, the SO in charge of the police station said, “We had received information about liquor stored in the ‘madrasa’. The police team conducted a raid, and after the recovery of liquor from two other spots, an FIR was lodged in connection with the incident and two persons were arrested. Irshad Ahmed and Vinod have been arrested while Dhyanchand is absconding,” he said.
Ahmed’s family members said that the Madrasa had reopened only on August 14 to celebrate Independence Day, the next day on August 15, and after the official function was over, the ‘madrasa’ had been locked. At that time, there was no liquor material inside the premises.
When the police asked the manager to open the door lock, he told them that the original lock was replaced with a new one by somebody and he had no clue about that. When the police broke the door lock, they found a bamboo ladder inside. The manager said that the ‘madrasa’ did not have a ladder.
There is a strong possibility that the real culprits gained entry into the ‘madrasa’ through the ladder and placed the liquor inside by using the ladder. The breaking of the door lock, bamboo ladder and storage of liquor inside have been mentioned in the police record prepared by the raiding party, family members alleged.
According to family members of Irshad, liquor mafias have operated in the area for a very long time, and the present incident could be a fallout of political rivalry and conspiracy. Allegations are that a deep-rooted nexus exists between the local cops and a Yuva Vahini leader running illegal liquor trade in the area. The two Yadav brothers accused in the case are said to be associated with the right-wing leader.
Rajan is associated with BJP, and his family had carried the mantle of being the village pradhan for 15 years, and out of that, he has been ‘pradhan'(elected village head) for five years. Rajan was succeeded by another villager, Ramjeet Kushwaha. And currently, Mahfooz Khan is the village pradhan. The right-wing conspiracy was aimed at tarnishing the image of the Muslim community and the ‘madrasa’ by placing liquor at the spot and then giving a tip-off to the police, the family members of Irshad explained.
The police have seized Tag 419 caps, 116 empty bottles and 83 liquor bottles. Also, the police have recovered 120 litres of spirit and packing material from the two other accused in the case.
Irshad Ahmad’s daughter was to marry on Wednesday. His entire family and relatives who had come for the marriage alleged the planting of liquor, and the subsequent raid was a systematic, well-planned conspiracy against the Muslims. Village Pradhan Mahfooz Khan said, “The ‘madrasa’ was closed for two years, and nobody visited the place. Some outside elements have done this nefarious task. Both the Yadavs are liquor smugglers, and liquor has been recovered from their houses. Their houses are very close to the ‘madrasa’. In the elections, Irshad Ahmad had supported us. That is why other political outfits were disturbed and targeted him. He was framed and arrested on the day his daughter was to be married,” he said.
Irshad’s father, Shahabuddin, said, “It is a crime to drink alcohol in Islam, then how can a Muslim get involved in the preparation of liquor. It is a conspiracy against him for settling political scores,” he said.
Irshad’s neighbour, Sanjay Mishra, said, “Both the brothers are hardworking and can never get involved in crime or any other illegality. It is wrong to conspire against a wedding household and harass them,” he said.