A teenager, who was wandering the streets with chains around his hands and feet, on Saturday told reporters that he had escaped from his madrassa after his teacher punished him up for threatening to leave the madrassa.
Several witnesses told reporters that he had been asking people if they had pliers so he could cut off the chains. They had then taken him to the Taunsa Press Club where he told reporters his story.
He introduced himself as Sajjad, 13, a student of the Jamia Ghausia Madrassa in Kot Sultan. He claimed that he had asked Qari Akbar for a few days’ leave so he could go home.
“The qari said I couldn’t go home. I told him that if he didn’t I would not study at his madrassa anymore.” Sajjad said. He said Akbar had then tied him up in chains.
The teenager claimed that Akbar had also tortured him. “He beat me up,” Sajjad told reporters, “and then he chained me in an open corridor. I was left there in the cold for four days and nights.” He said his class fellows had seem him suffer and then taken pity on him.
Sajjad said he had been able to escape after some of his friends broke the chain in one place using bricks and some sharp objects. He said Akbar used to go home in the evenings and that is when his friends had helped him escape.
The young boy was then taken to the City police station, where the police recorded his statement and then contacted his family. His father Ghulam Hussain and uncle Ghulam Shabbir told police that they did not wish to persecute the madrassa teacher. Hussain and Shabbir told reporters that their family did not want to get involved in a court case or a police investigation. “We are poor people. The madrassa owners are influential. We do not want to initiate any action against them,” they said. Sajjad’s cousin Abdur Rehman said the family would not send him to any madrassa ever.
The police then allowed Sajjad to leave with his family.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2012.