Eight-year-old killed following ‘tussle between kids’ outside madrasa in Delhi

An eight year old boy who studied in a madrasa (Islamic institution) was allegedly killed by a group of boys after a fight erupted over playing on a disputed piece of land outside the madrasa in Malviya Nagar. The four boys were apprehended and sent to a juvenile home, DCP of South Delhi, Vijay Kumar stated.

The incident occurred around 10 AM Thursday following a tussle between two groups of children from different communities, all aged between 8 and 12. The victim, Mohammad Azeem, lost consciousness after he was pushed and hit his head on a motorcycle, police said. He was taken to a hospital by a local, where doctors declared him brought dead. Kumar said it appears the boy died of an “internal injury”.

The caretaker of the madrasa, Maulana Ali Jauhar, cited by Indian Express, said Azeem hailed from Mewat in Haryana and had been staying with them since January, 2017. “He never fought with anyone. While he was playing with other kids from the madrasa, some local boys came and started hitting them… One of them threw him on a parked motorcycle,” he alleged.

Police said both groups had five-six boys each. Kumar said the fight began over playing on the plot. “But we are verifying the allegations from both sides. Teams have been deployed to maintain peace,” he said, adding that they are looking at CCTV footage of the incident.

Police said the situation in the area has always been tense as the land is disputed and the matter is pending in court. The madrasa claims the plot as its own, while residents of a JJ cluster in the vicinity believe it is public land.

“At least 15 police complaints have been submitted in the last few months over minor issues. Last year, somebody had thrown a liquor bottle during Shab-e-Baraat,” a resident of the madrasa said as quoted by IE.

Muqeem said there was a scuffle during Dussehra as well, when local children were asked to clear the plot so namaz could be read there. “We did not want to mar the harmony, so we did not inform police,” said Muqeem.

Police said parents of the victim have been informed and a post-mortem will be conducted at AIIMS Friday.

The grandmother of one of the accused cited by IE said: “It was a fight between children over a minor issue. Police took him after the incident. I don’t know where he is.”

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