Cleric booked over sodomy charges

Victim says Mufti Aziz promised passing him in exams


Our Correspondent June 18, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:

Police have booked 70-year-old cleric Mufti Aziz, in an FIR on Wednesday after a video of him sexually assaulting a seminary student went viral a day ago.

Also the Lahore vice ameer of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), Mufti Aziz was booked in the case on the survivor’s complaint.

According to the FIR, a few days after the video was leaked, the cleric threatened to murder victim Sabir Shah.

The survivor maintained in the FIR that, “I was admitted into the madrassa in 2013 and had been attending it since. He blamed me for making another student take my exam due to which I was banned from giving exams with the Wafaqul Madrassa for three years.”

Read more: Teen ‘gang-raped’ by five in DI Khan

Shah further stated in his FIR that, “Mufti Aziz promised passing me in exams in exchange for keeping immoral relations with me.”

The complainant stated that the cleric and his sons – Altaf, Atique, Lateef - and three other individuals have been threatening to murder him for releasing the video.

A copy of the FIR lodged against Mufti Aziz available with The Express Tribune.

The Express Tribune reported a day ago that the video spread shockwaves on Pakistani Twitter as netizens not only called for immediate action to be taken against Aziz but a clear out of paedophiles in religious seminaries across the country.

A video message was also leaked with the footage by the teary-eyed survivor, in which he claims that: “My attacker’s sons have threatened to kill me for exposing him [Mufti Aziz]”.

In distress, the victim shared that he is in hiding, adding that, “It is better I die” out of fear of retribution in the recording.

Meanwhile, Mufti Aziz, whose membership has been suspended by his party, also issued a video statement not only denying his role in the viral video but also claiming that “it is part of a conspiracy to smear his name”.

Mufti Aziz claimed that certain elements inside the seminary wanted to expel him, adding that, “This video is fake as you can’t even see me move in it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18h, 2021.

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