HYDERABAD: A cleric was arrested and booked for allegedly thrashing students for being absent from a seminary in Hyderabad on Friday. The police geared into action after a video showing the incident went viral on the social media.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Sindh IGP Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of the incident and directed the district police to take action and submit report at the earliest. “We can’t tolerate physical punishment meted out to children in any shape and at any place,” the chief minister was quoted in an official statement as saying.
He directed the Sindh education department to coordinate with religious affairs department to design a counseling program for madrassa teachers.
Qari Shabbir Ahmed Ansari, the seminary teacher who is a resident of Sarfaraz Colony area, can be seen thrashing children with a thick rubber belt in the video. His father Ghulam Hussain Ansari is Pesh Imam (prayer leader) of the mosque.
The person recording the video intervened and requested Ahmed to stop beating the students but he refused while telling him to offer Namaz and not interfere.
When asked about reason for the punishment, a young student told The Express Tribune that children who remained absent for a day or two were being beaten.
The incident took place in Sarhindi mosque in Masoom Shah Colony in the limits of Cant police station. SSP Hyderabad Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh said that he immediately directed the Cant police to arrest the suspect after watching the video on social media.
Later, the Cant police also lodged an FIR on complaint of student Shahzeb’s father Ahmed Jan under section 328-A of Pakistan Penal Code. The section, which was inserted through the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2014, provides for imprisonment for one to three years after conviction besides fine.