A seminary student was hospitalised after being tortured by his teacher in Tehsil Ghazi on Sunday.
Thirteen-year-old Waqas Khan was allegedly hung from his feet, beaten with sticks, and repeatedly burnt with hot iron rods for two days by his seminary teacher, who accused him of stealing his mobile phone.
The boy’s father, Dilawar Khan, however, has pardoned the perpetrator on request of a local jirga, according to police and family sources.
Khan, a local nanbai of Ghara village, said he was informed by a student of Madressa Jamia Mohsnia Rizviya Ahyaul Uloom on Saturday that his son was being subjected to severe corporal punishment. When Khan reached the seminary he found his son lying unconscious, beaten and bruised. He said the seminary administration was reluctant in allowing him to take his son to the hospital, but ceded when he protested.
Waqas was admitted to Tehsil Headquarter Hospital, where doctors confirmed that the boy was physical tortured. The hospital’s medical officer, Dr Ayaz, said the boy carries burn marks and bruise all over his body.
When Waqas regained consciousness, he narrated his ordeal, saying that his seminary teacher lost his temper after losing his mobile phone and began accusing him of stealing it. He said his teacher disrobed him and hung him upside down, and repeatedly punched him, beat him sticks and metal bars, and burnt him with hot iron rods trying to make him confess to a crime he did not commit. He said he told the teacher that he did not steal his phone but the teacher was adamant on holding him responsible, he said sobbingly. He vowed never to resume his studies at the seminary.
The boy was tortured for two days before one of his classmates informed his brother-in-law, who then told his father. The accused was arrested but later released by Senior House Officer of Ghazi police station on grounds that the family did not register a criminal case against him.
Human rights activist, Advocate Khursheed Khan, condemned the incident and demanded legal action against the seminary teacher. He alleged that the boy’s poor family was forced into pardoning the perpetrator under pressure and called for probing the incident.
When the boy’s father was asked why he pardoned the teacher, he said, “What else could I have done when everybody was out to support the influential teacher”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.
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