A 34-year-old cleric employed at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) mosque was arrested and later dismissed from the job for allegedly raping a nine-year-old girl in Aligarh district. The accused had been teaching Urdu and Quran to the girl for the past nine months, police said.
The accused was arrested on Wednesday after a case was lodged by victim’s mother at Mahila Police Station. “The case was initially lodged on charges of molestation and attempt to rape but the charge of rape was included after the victim said in her statement that the accused had sexually assaulted her. The accused was arrested and sent to judicial custody by a local court on Wednesday,” SHO of Mahila Police Station Sunita Mishra said.
The SHO said that the accused confessed to molesting the girl for the last one month.
“Last week, the girl told her mother that she does not want to take lessons from the cleric anymore. The mother became suspicious and inquired why the daughter was refusing to take lessons from him. The daughter then told her that he used to molest her and when she objected, he threatened her with dire consequences,” Mishra told The Indian Express.
The mother on Tuesday submitted a written complaint to SSP Aligarh. “She told the SSP about the incident, who forwarded the complaint to the Mahila police station and we lodged an FIR. He was arrested on Wednesday from his home,” Mishra added.
“We have booked him under IPC section 376 (rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and under Section 7/8 of the POCSO Act,” the SHO said.
Meanwhile, the Aligarh Muslim University has removed the cleric from the services. “The university administration removed him on Wednesday after he was arrested. He used to conduct prayers at the mosque at Ambedkar Hall in the university. He was hired three years ago on a daily-basis contract,” Shafe Kidwai, member and in charge of Public Relations of AMU, said.