A seminary teacher has been arrested by Shujabad police for damaging the left eye of an eight-year-old student.
Police have yet to register an FIR against Qari Ismaeel. They say they have postponed the registration of the FIR until a medical report is available from the Shujabad tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital where the child, Abu Bakr, was referred for medical examination on Thursday.
THQ hospital Medical Officer Idrees Bhatti told The Express Tribune the child’s eye had been badly damaged from the beating. He said a medical report would be issued on Friday after a detailed examination by an eye surgeon. “The eye specialist will be in a better position to tell if the child will be able to see from the affected eye or mot,” he said.
Child’s father Muhammad Rafiq told the Tribune that he was beaten as a punishment for his absence from the seminary on Wednesday.
He alleged that the seminary was not registered with the government but said that most poor people enroll their children there because there was no school in the vicinity.
SHO Fayyaz Khan claimed that the cleric had confessed during questioning to beating the child.
Child sent with father
In another incident, a child, who claimed to have escaped detention at a seminary in Kukar Hata village, was handed over to his parents on Thursday.
Muhammad Hussain, president of Brick Kilns Association in Multan, said the child, Muhammad Ali, 11, had come to his kiln and asked for work on Wednesday. He said when he asked the child about wounds on his arms and body he told him that he had escaped from a seminary where he was kept in chains for four days.
“He (the child) said he did not return home fearing that his father might take him back to the seminary,” Hussain said.
The child said he had broken the chains using an axe he found at the seminary. He said several other students were held in chains at the seminary.
He said the cleric had chained him as soon as his father left him at the seminary four days ago.
His father Muhammad Iftikhar reached Multan on Thursday morning after Hussain called and informed him about his child. Iftikhar said he would not report the matter to the police.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2012.