Bijnor Jama Masjid imam booked for rapehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/bijnor-jama-masjid-imam-booked-for-rape-2998311/

Bijnor Jama Masjid imam booked for rape

The Imam, Maulana Anwarul Haq (40), allegedly raped a 30-year-old woman on the pretext of “rescuing her from evil spirits”.

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Representative image.

SIX DAYS after he was allegedly caught raping a woman, the police on Thursday booked the head Imam of Jama Masjid in Bijnor city. On August 19, the woman’s husband and neighbours had thrashed him, and also clicked his video and photographs while he was caught in the act.

The Imam, Maulana Anwarul Haq (40), had allegedly been raping the 30-year-old woman on the pretext of “rescuing her from evil spirits”.

Bijnor SP Umesh Kumar Srivastava said the victim’s husband had approached Haq to cure the woman, who had been ill for over a month. Haq reportedly told him that his wife was under the influence of evil spirits and some rituals needed to be performed at the Kaliyar Sharif dargah in Haridwar.

“On August 12, Haq took the couple to Haridwar where they stayed in a hotel. The man has alleged that the cleric called his wife to his room on the pretext of performing rituals and raped her. He also threatened her with dire consequences if she informed her husband,” said Srivastava.

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Mahila police Station Officer Manju Singh, after returning from Haridwar, said that Haq went to the woman’s house on August 19 when she was alone. “Haq took his associate Khurram with him and asked him to wait outside the house. While the cleric was inside, the woman’s husband arrived. Khurram tried to stop him, but he broke open the door and allegedly found Haq in a compromising position with his wife,” she said.

The husband raised an alarm, following which neighbours gathered at the house and started beating up Haq and Khurram. “A few also clicked some photographs of the cleric,” said SO.

While the family did not inform the police, Haq reportedly kept putting pressure on them to return the video clippings and photographs. “When they refused, Haq got an FIR lodged against the victim’s husband and four others on August 23 at Nazibabad police station, alleging that they had misbehaved with his wife and snatched her jewellery,” said Singh.

Following this, police picked up one of the persons named in the FIR. “While questioning the accused, we came to know about Haq’s motive behind filing the FIR. The couple were called to the police station. A police team was also sent to Haridwar. It found that the hotel rooms were booked on Haq’s ID. We also have collected CCTV footage from the hotel with clippings of Haq and the couple,” said Singh.

“We have five video clippings of the August 19 incident, which corroborates the complainant’s allegations… We will now expunge the case Haq had filed at Nazibabad police station,” the SP said. Besides Haq, police are also looking for Khurram, the co-accused in the rape case. The woman, who has two children, has undergone a medical examination.

Haq had earlier been in the news when he announced a reward of Rs 51 lakh on Hindu activist Kamlesh Tiwari, who was arrested for allegedly making objectionable comments against Prophet Muhammad in December last year. After the killing of NIA officer Tanzeel Ahmed in Bijnor in April, Haq had claimed that Tanzeel had been killed in a terror attack.