NEW DELHI: An eight year old child Mohammad Azeem was reportedly beaten to death by a group of persons in the heart of South Delhi Thursday afternoon. Azeem was studying in a residential madarsa in Shivalik, Malviya Nagar.

Azeem was rescued and rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. His distraught parents arrived from their village in Mewat, and at the time of writing were waiting for his body to be brought back from the postmortem. The police apprehended four minor boys involved in the incident. The police claimed it was a scuffle between two groups. Locals spoke of long standing tension in the area with the madarsa boys being increasingly targeted by locals.

The madarsa teachers said that they have been attacked in the past as well by persons living around the madarsa. Liquor bottles have been thrown into the madarsa compound and there has been a history of harassment and abuse over recent years. A couple of the madarsa teachers said that while Azeem was struggling to breathe a woman who was there said that more such cases would take place. She was not identified.

Activist from the United Against Hate organisation Nadeem Khan was amongst the first to reach the madarsa and the teachers told him that some of the students living in the hostel were playing outside when local youths assaulted them. Khan told The Citizen that while the others sustained minor injuries but Azeem collapsed on the spot.

The students were terrorised as were the officials at the madarsa. Azeem’s two brothers are also studying at the madarsa. More details are awaited.