The mother of a 12-year-old boy has registered an FIR against a seminary teacher at the Kandiaro police station in Naushero Feroze, accusing him of molesting her child. Video footage of the incident was also widely shared on social media.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the woman, Z*, stated that her son, A*, went to the seminary at a mosque in Buddak village, near Kandiaro, to learn the Holy Quran. She added that when she went to the mosque on August 7, she found out that the teacher, Maulvi Ghulam Abbas Sehto, was molesting him.
A video clip of Sehto molesting the boy before realising someone on the mosque's rooftop was filming him was also shared on social media.
The boy who filmed the incident, S*, stated that he was also abused by the same teacher around two years ago. "I told my parents about it a couple of times, but instead of listening to me, they beat me," he said in the video, adding that he stopped going for Quran classes after that.
According to S, on the day of the recent incident, he heard cries from the mosque and caught Sehto re-handed. "I showed the video to people so they would believe me," he added.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, A's father said he had wanted his son to become a Hafiz [memorise the Quran]. "But now we have found out the teacher is involved in such acts," he stated.
"We are poor people and Sehto is influential," he added, claiming that the suspect was even being supported by the police. "There is a lot of pressure on my family to withdraw the case, but I need justice for my son."
Kandiaro SHO Rehan Hussain Wassano told The Express Tribune that A was not raped. "But the teacher was carrying out unethical acts. We saw the video footage," he said, adding that Sehto had been granted bail by a local court.
Wassano further said he has also received video footage from another student who alleged that Sehto had raped him. "However, the student did not come to the police station to register a complaint against him. We will investigate the matter if anyone files an official complaint."
The seminary in question has been closed since the day of the incident, with parents refusing to send their children to the mosque.
While The Express Tribune tried to contact Sehto, his phone number was unavailable.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2020.
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